The Shroud of Turin and anti-Nazi resistance

Interesting thing I just read about Hans and Sophie Scholl, brother and sister who were Evangelical Lutherans and helped form the interdenominational German religious movement against Nazism, the White Rose Society, and were martyred for their actions.

After an initial flirtation with the Nazi youth movement, Hans turned his intensity from Nazism to the Bible, as well as the Church Fathers, and great Christian writers like Aquinas. By 1939, he came to see Christianity as “the one possible bulwark against the dark that was closing in on the world and threatening to extinguish whatever light still remained in it.”

"Their mutual faith was strengthened, curiously, by a surprising element: The Shroud of Turin. After observing a major debate on the authenticity of the Shroud in the 1930s, Hans “had absolutely no doubt the relic was genuine.” Sophie was equally impressed by it, writing in a letter in 1942, “I’m surprised the picture doesn’t cause more of a stir, considering that Christians can’t but regard it as the face of God, perceptible to their very own eyes.” The evidence of the Shroud apparently strengthened their faith considerably. In December 1941, Hans writes of experiencing Advent “as a wholehearted Christian for the first time,” and also said, “This year, Christ has been born for me anew.” The Shroud did not erase their doubts entirely, since both Hans and Sophie observed the difficulty of reconciling the goodness in creation with the evil done by men. Nevertheless, a profound sense of dedication to their faith is found in both of their personal writings, as they grew into what was apparently a more and more mature faith. Sophie encapsulated that dedication in a simple sentence, written in a letter of November 1942: “I shall cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even if my numb hands can no longer feel it.” The fruit of their dedication was not long in blooming. Having been caught at distributing their leaflets critical of the Nazi regime, they were both arrested and sentenced to death in February of 1943.

from Holding, J. P. (2013-09-01). Hitler’s Christianity Tekton. Kindle Edition. Excellent book, by the way on the nature of Hitler’s hatred and perversion of Christianity, and Christian resistance.

My faith does not rest on the authenticity of the Shroud, but I found this to be interesting.

Arizona Mike:

Thank you. I LOVE to read all of the research done on the Shroud. I have stayed with it since the sixties!!! More recently, I have come to suspect that there is a GOOD REASON why so many new books are being written to “explain” the image; everything from bacteria to vapors.
(Mark Antonnaci, etc.) The authors of this “junk research” are knowingly or unknowingly refuting the Resurrection!!! I hope you will stay abreast of the Shroud’s research!!! Some more wonderful things are coming out, but we must remember; the Resurrection is the essence of our faith, and it will always be under attack.

John Jerpe

I was unaware of many “miracles” associated with the Catholic Faith until after my conversion. It was then that I first heard about incorruptible Saints, Eucharistic miracles, mass Marian apparitions (like Fatima), and such. I found this very exciting (protestants generally don’t have such things) and bought many books (this was pre-Internet) and studied these topics with great interest.

But, it seemed to me that (to use the Shroud as an example), for every one scientist (of whatever discipline) who embraced the artifact, ten or twenty or a hundred were eager to “debunk” it. And, as the Internet came of age, I noticed the same thing happening for incorruptibles, Eucharistic miracles, and all sorts of other things (this contrary literature surely was “out there” when I was buying my books, but I was shopping in a Catholic bookstore).

If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead. [Luke 16:31]

Skeptics will be skeptics. But I wonder if evidence of “miracles” does not fuel them in their disbelief (because they devote much effort to “debunking” the idea). To those who believe, miracles are unnecessary. To those who disbelieve, miracles are ineffective. But I wonder if they cause more problems.

Have any skeptics really been converted to the Fatih by any miracle? Maybe a few have, but how many more have “dug in” against the Faith?

Jesus didn’t stop doing Miracles because some didn’t believe in them or Him. God is doing these Miracles so we must need them. We all have a free will to accept or reject. So we pray for all to be open to the Will of Our Father in Heaven. God BLess and a Holy, Blessed New Year, Memaw

Hitler tried to capture the Shroud during WWII, believing it was some form of talisman. That interesting part of the Shroud’s history and the science can could someday prove its authenticityis told in a fascinating novel called “The Linen God”. Check it out on Amazon!

Thanks for the book title. I will read this since I love this type of fiction.

How about some 5 million Aztecs attributed to the miracle of the Tilma at Guadalupe?

Quite a few due to healings at Lourdes…

Miracles may not be the primary source for conversion, but there have been countless conversions attributed–either directly or indirectly–to miracles.

That’s right. God has a way of performing a miracle just at the right time. We won’t know who is converted since no one can really keep those types of stats. Since God is in charge, we can count on a good result.



Oh, C’on!!! Attributed by WHOM? Would you please care to CITE your source, so that we can make an utter fool of him here?

WolframAlpha can find no historic sources for OVERALL population of the “New World” as ancient as Guadalupe (1531), but it cites statistics just fifty years later. The region in question STILL has no reliable historic population density statistics (even though WolframAlpha’s data is as granular as 10,000 people), but neighboring regions have 1 to 10 million TOTAL people. You cite a source that claims that the region of Guadalupe had at least FIVE MILLION AZTECS who ALL converted!!! Absurd!!!

WHERE did you get your absurd figure of FIVE MILLION Aztecs? According to WolframAppha, this is close to pretty much the ENTIRE population of the entire Western Hemisphere at the time.

Nonsense. Absolutely absurd. Your source needs to be publicly exposed here as an absolute fraud. Who is your source for this nonsense? We need to denounce this source so that other Catholic apologists won’t be fooled into using his silly arguments.

I was going off of memory with the 5 million figure. Here, they have it as eight–that’s EIGHT (8) million:


The news of the appearance of the Indian mother who left her imprint on the tilma spread like wildfire! Three points were appreciated by the native population. First, the lady was Indian, spoke Náhuatl, the Aztec language, and appeared to an Indian, not a Spaniard! Second, Juan Diego explained that she appeared at Tepeyac, the place of Tonantzin, the mother god, sending a clear message that the Virgin Mary was the mother of the true God, and that the Christian religion was to replace the Aztec religion. And third, the Indians, who learned through pictures and symbols in their culture of the image, grasped the meaning of the tilma, which revealed the beautiful message of Christianity: the true God sacrificed himself for mankind, instead of the horrendous life they had endured sacrificing humans to appease the frightful gods! It is no wonder that over the next seven years, from 1531 to 1538, eight million natives of Mexico converted to Catholicism! 4

or here:

Here, it’s listed as NINE MILLION:

Mesoamerica, the New World, 1521: The capital city of the Aztec empire falls under the Spanish forces. ***Less than 20 years later, 9 million ***of the inhabitants of the land, who professed for centuries a polytheistic and human sacrificing religion, are converted to Christianity. What happened in those times that produced such an incredible and historically unprecedented conversion?

and here again, EIGHT MILLION:

It is apparent the Aztec Indians had similar civilization compared to the Egyptians, with the pyramids, the sphinx and the hieroglyphics. The origin of Mexicans is not clear. The Aztec pagans had offered 20,000 bloody human sacrifices to the god Quetzalcoatl-Venus each year. The image of this pagan god was carved out of stone, as seen in ancient pyramids of Mexico. The Aztecs learned through the instruction of Juan Diego and the ‘writing of the tilma’ Image that no human sacrifice could equal Jesus Christ offered on the Cross. In their conversion the Aztecs also turned to the Holy Eucharist as Juan Diego knew well the Christian doctrine of the Church. Shortly after this miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Spaniards replaced the Aztec’s hieroglyphics to teaching of the alphabet.

Thence, on the new continent of America 8 million Aztec pagans were added and grew to millions more in a short time span. The Protestant Revolt was taking place in Europe about this time, in the year 1541. Many Roman Catholics were leaving the faith in the old world. Approximately 5 million separated from the Catholic faith in the Protestant Revolt, if not more.

For the sake of argument, it was a LOT of people–a LOT of SOULS, saved form paganism, and converted to Christianity.

For perspective–according to St. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles, 3,000 converted on the day of the Pentecost.

Let’s go with a really conservative number, and say 300,000 pagan Aztecs converted due to the Tilma.

There are almost 90 million Catholics in Mexico today (to say nothing at all of the impact Our Lady of G’lupe has had on neighboring countries)…that’s one heck of a legacy.

To dismiss that, is to confess ignorance to the challenges the missionaries faced with the Aztecs and other indigenous peoples.

(btw: I like how that last site juxtaposes the conversion of millions of Aztecs, against the simultaneous loss to protestantism. Maybe it’s just me).

^^^please do note that the concession is only made for the sake of argument, as the greater point is your dismissing the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as though it were no big deal.

It’s a pretty big deal.

Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI held OLG’lupe in pretty high esteem; and I would assume Pope Francis does as well, being himself from Latin America–in fact, here is a pretty good indication:

:thumbsup: Although I would agree that these numbers are probably unverifiable, I DO believe that God would only allow a miracle like this for the purpose of converting souls. God would not allow a miracle if it were to be meaningless. So whether it was 8 people or 8 million, it happened for a reason and certainly led to the conversion of people.


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