We have recently received correspondence wishing us to make an important point: that blood taken from the famous Shroud of Turin, thought to be the burial cloth of Christ, is reported to be Type AB.
This is fascinating because AB occurs in a small percentage of the populace -- and AB is also the blood type in a Eucharistic miracle that occurred long ago -- centuries ago -- in Lanciano, Italy.
It was during the eighth century that a Communion Host is said to have suddenly changed into actual Flesh and Blood of Christ while a doubting priest -- no longer sure of the Real Presence -- was celebrating Mass. He was suddenly very certain. "Having suffered from recurring doubts regarding transubstantiation, he had just spoken the solemn words of Consecration when the Host was suddenly changed into a circle of flesh, and the wine transformed into visible blood," notes author Joan Carroll Cruz.
More astonishing still, the evidence remains to this day. Since 1713 the Flesh has been reserved in an artistic silver ostensorium, delicately embossed by an artisan of the Neapolitan school, while the Blood is enclosed in a rich and very old rock-crystal cup at Lanciano in the Church of St. Francis. Various ecclesiastical investigations have been conducted through the centuries, but none more pertinent than tests carried forth with modern technology. In 1970-71 and again in 1981 there were major investigations by an illustrious scientist named Odoardo Linoli, eminent Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy, and Professor Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena.
The analyses were documented with a series of microscopic photographs and what they showed was that: the Flesh and the Blood were real; the Flesh is striated cardiac muscular material; the Blood was formed in five clots; both the Flesh and Blood have the same blood-type; and that the blood type is AB.
"In the Blood there were found proteins in the same normal proportions as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of the fresh normal blood," said one report. "In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium."
It is a blood-type identical to that what a scientist named Baima Bollone and others -- including American scientists -- uncovered in the Holy Shroud of Turin.
In 1978, a team of thirty U. S. scientists, many from the Jet Propulsion Lab in California, came together for the Shroud of Turin Research Project. The Archbishop at the Cathedral of Turin in Torino, Italy, where the Shroud was housed from 1694 to 1993, gave permission for the group to study the relic.
Examinations were made and over thirty sticky-tape samples representative of the body images, blood stains, and non-image areas were taken. Later the group asked a Connecticut professor to do analyses on a small fragment from the shroud samples and concluded it was blood-derived -- and what was more, of a pattern similar to what was also found on the Sudarium of Oviedo, Spain, which is also AB.
The Sudarium -- reputedly the burial face cloth of Jesus -- has no image but does have the fascinating blood stains, which have been analyzed. Both tradition and scientific studies claim that the cloth was used to cover and clean the face of Jesus after the Crucifixion.
So three major Christian relics that are supposed to have Christ's Blood do have blood-derived particles and all three also indicate type AB -- found in less than four percent of the population.
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The odds of having these three relics all having AB blood would be 4/100 X 4/100 X 4/100 which would be 1 in 15600 odds!