Shroud of Turin at center of children’s story

‘The Wordless Weaver’ is intended for those ages 4 to 8


Author Claudia Cangilla McAdam of Highlands Ranch is a classic storyteller with a master’s degree in theology — a combination that leads her to writing stories for children that lead them into her own beautiful worlds. An earlier book was “Do You See What I See?” which was written in collaboration with photographer John Fielder and encouraged kids to really look at what surrounded them. (McAdam suspects it is no longer in print.)

Newest on the scene is “The Wordless Weaver,” timely for the season now and carrying lovely illustrations by Caroline Baker Mazure, an art teacher who lives in Michigan.

It focuses on the story of the Shroud of Turin, which is housed at the St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Turin, Italy, with a recorded history dating back to Lirey, France in 1353 and is believed by many, including McAdam, to be the linen shroud that wrapped Jesus of Nazareth after his crucifixion. It is described as 14 feet long, with the image of a man on it. An illustration at the end of the book shows a reader how it looks and should provoke more discussion.

A timeline McAdam provided says it was traded to the Duke of Savoy for two castles in 1452 and moved to Turin in 1578 for safekeeping after surviving a church fire in Chambery, France in 1532. It was cleaned and restored by the Catholic Church in 2002. When displayed, it is encased in bulletproof glass. A previous pope has referred to it as an icon.

(McAdam mentioned a series of books written about the shroud, including one by Ian Wilson, published in 1979, updated in 2010.)

Her poetic new book for the 4-to-8 set begins as a young girl and her two little brothers join a crowd that lines the road into Jerusalem — as Yeshua, already legendary as master and teacher, travels the road into Jerusalem.

He looks directly at Shira, whose name McAdam says means “Song” in Hebrew. After that excitement, she goes home to weave, her reputation for skill already established. In several days she finished a length of fine cloth, which her mother said they could take to market the next time they went.

The next morning, Shira’s mother shrieked and told her Yeshua had been arrested and was to be crucified and Shira ran out to the hilltop ... where she prayed silently ... Yeshua’s young disciple, John, comforted her.

She heard a man offer his tomb and discussion of a need for a shroud — she ran and touched his arm, then ran home to get her length of cloth.

A strip was cut off one side to bind the cloth around the body as it was laid to rest in a tomb.

The next morning, John returned to find only the shroud in the tomb.

The story continues to this day and a devout McAdam has shared a very readable version it with young people today.

It is available online and can be ordered through Tattered Cover, Barnes & Noble or other bookstores. It is available in the gift shops at St. Thomas More Parish, 8035 S. Quebec St., Centennial (where an autographed copy can be ordered), and St. Mary Catholic Church, 6853 S. Prince St., Littleton.



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