St. Pauls Grotto and the Shroud of Turin
In 60A.D St. Paul was shipwrecked on the Island of Malta. It was Paul who brought Christianity to the island. For three months it is believed he resided in the grotto located beneath what is now the Church of St Paul in the heart of Rabat. The Grotto has had several Papal visits and is a 'must see' for anyone visiting this magical island. The grotto is connected by an underground passage to the Wignacourt Museum, catacombs and world war 11 underground air raid shelters.
In 1977 Dr. Shield conducted a series of radio interviews with members of the STURP Group who had recently carried out an intensive investigation into the image on the sacred Shroud of Turin,believed by millions of Christians around the world to be the linen cloth that had wrapped the crucified body of Christ following his crucifixion. Dr. Shield joined the council for research into the scared cloth and his interviews were remastered and are now considered a historic record. In 1997 whilst re visiting his beloved adopted home - the island of Malta , Dr. Shield discovered a little known replica of the Shroud that was presented to the Island by the King of Spain in 1682 and now residing in a store room at the Wignacourt Museum adjoin St. Paul’s Grotto.
Dr. Shield knew there was a number of replica shrouds in existence – about thirty-eight in all, as far as he knew.
Whenever such a reproduction was obtained, the Shroud was held in veneration by the faithful. There are several such re- productions in several countries: there is one in Belgium and another in Argentina; two in France and two others in Portugal; thirteen in Spain and nineteen in Italy, besides the original Shroud of Turin.
Francisco Lucas Bueno, Bishop of Malta and Grand Master of the Religion of St. John in the year 1650 A.D., obtained a copy from the Royal Savoy Family. On 8 October 1652, he sent the Shroud to Saragossa to the Lord Receiver of St. John who, in turn, entrusted it to Antonio Bueno and Andres Martinez of Campillo de Aragon. They gave it to the people of Campillo. This relic is kept over the altar in a chapel constructed for the purpose and is guarded by two strong doors in gold.
It is believed to be one of only 38 known replicas that were produced by laying a linen cloth on top of the original Shroud.These replicas are now scattered around the world. The 'Rabat Shroud' as it is now known is now given a prominent position for all to enjoy in the Wignacourt.