Vatican Insider published a stunning report on a study conducted by four university professors on the Shroud of Turin and, more specifically, the extent and nature of the injuries sustained by the man forever associated with it. (For what it’s worth I, like millions of others, believe it is the burial shroud of Christ.) Who would have imagined that the shroud’s image could contain so many significant and precise details about the abuses and injuries suffered by Christ? The report doesn’t just touch on the nail, thorn and spear wounds; it gets down to muscles and nerves, the tendons, the joints and sockets, the spinal column, and of course, the heart.

It is difficult to read this report. How could one man suffer so much? But how can we ignore it?

Finally, the authors of the article put forward their theory on the Man of the Shroud’s immediate cause of death. Restricted breathing and the presence of the haemothorax which put pressure on the right lung were not enough to bring about death by asphyxia. Asphyxia involves an inability to breath which results in loss of conscience and coma. The four experts say the fall and/or the flagellation have caused not only a pulmonary contusion but also a cardiac contusion. This, together with the serious clinical and mental condition the Man was in, may have led to a heart attack and a broken heart.