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'Holy Robe' draws thousands to exposition in German cathedral

April 16, 2012

The Catholic cathedral of Trier, Germany, is expecting thousands of pilgrims for a display of the cloth that is said to be the robe worn by Jesus before his Crucifixion.

The Heiliger Rock (“Holy Robe”) was reportedly discovered and brought back from the Holy Land by St. Helena. It was first displayed in Trier in 1512. This year, for the 500th anniversary of that first display, the public was invited to view the robe at a public exposition that began on April 13 and will continue until May 13.

In a message for the occasion, addressed to Trier’s Bishop Stephan Ackermann, Pope Benedict XVI observed that the Gospel records that Christ’s robe was seamless. This, he said, was seen by the Church Fathers as a symbol of unity within the Church, a community bound by the love of Christ. Furthermore, the Pope said, the robe was described as “woven in one piece from the top.” The Pontiff reflected: “This too is an image of the Church, which lives not thanks to her own efforts but because of the action of God.”


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