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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Divine Touch-Screen (4)

The Holy Lance, as well as the Holy Sepulcher, recalls another and more important Christian relic: the Holy Shroud ("la sacra Sindone"), currently kept in Torino / Turin, N-W Italy. 'Everything and the opposite of everything' has already been said about that linen cloth that enveloped - or not - Jesus' body. What interests us here is a mysterious connection with Tasso.

The Holy Shroud, whose first appearance dated back to 1349 in France, from 1453 belonged to the Savoia Family, i.e. the same dynasty that in the mid-19th century would unite Italy into one nation (it would fall after, and because of, WWII). On September 14, 1578, the linen cloth was definitively transferred to Turin, and in that very September, Torquato Tasso went to Turin for the first time in his life, asking for the opportunity to become a courtier of theirs. Just a coincidence, for a poet who had just ended to write Gerusalemme Liberata?

Tasso would not remain there for a long time. It was the period in which he suffered from the heaviest psychic problems, and he suddenly fled. He would be internalised in Ferrara on March 11, 1579, up until 1586. But, could he see the relic before? No evidences can be found in his letters, etc., but some descriptions in Gerusalemme Conquistata seem to suggest a positive answer. In GC 2: 27 (see below) the Holy Lance is said to have pierced the "left side" of the body of Jesus, that's what it looks like by examining the Shroud without considering that it is an imprint, so the wound was actually on the right. But the most interesting verses on this subject are still to come.