This name is given primarily to a relic, preserved at Turin, Italy, since 1578, for which the claim is made that it is the actual "clean linen coat" in which Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27), after the Crucifixion. It is a cloth about 13.5 feet long, 4.25 feet wide. Thought blackened by age, it bears the faint but distinct impress of a human form, both back and front; it was first heard of c.1360 at Lirey in the diocese of Troyes. The authenticity of the Holy Shroud is not questioned in various pronouncements of the Holy See, although other shrouds exist elsewhere, notably those of Champiegne, Besançon, Xabregas, and Cadouin. In 1901, Dr Paul Vignon read a paper before the Academie des Sciences in which he maintained that the image upon the shroud was a natural negative of the Sacred Body, and as such was completely beyond the skill of any medieval forger.
New Catholic Dictionary