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Pope pauses in silent prayer before Shroud of Turin

Pope pauses in silent prayer before Shroud of Turin
Pope Francis touches the case displaying the Shroud of Turin, the 14-foot linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy. (Alessandro di Marco / European Pressphoto Agency)

Pope Francis paused in silent prayer Sunday before the Shroud of Turin on special display in the northern Italian city's cathedral.

Francis was the latest of hundreds of thousands of people who have come this year to view the burial linen some believe covered the body of Jesus.

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Francis sat for several minutes before the shroud, contained in a special protective glass case. He lowered his head at times in silent reflection and occasionally gazed up at the 14-foot cloth. Then he took a few steps, placed his hand on the case, and walked away without comment.

The shroud's display began April 19 and runs through June 24.

Skeptics say the cloth bearing the image of a crucified man is a medieval forgery.

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