Dresden Files

The Shroud of Turin is believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ and some kind of supernatural weapon. It first appears in Death Masks.


The Shroud was stolen by the Churchmice led by Gaston LaRouche three days before Harry Dresden being hired to find it. It was taken from the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptiste in Turin, Northern Italy.[1]

The Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth used by Joseph of Aramthea to wrap the body of Jesus after the Crucifixion. The cloth supposedly has the image of Christ imposed on it in his blood and was wrapped around it during the resurrection. It was almost burned a few years back when the Cathedral caught fire. It is the probably the most vital artifact owned by the Church.[1]

No larger than a folded shirt and kept in a plastic bag,[2] it is a rectangular piece of linen cloth fourteen feet three inches long by three feet, seven inches. It is handwovern three-to-one herringbone twill. There are many patches and stains on it.[1]

It is a powerful symbol of faith in which many people believe. Dresden suggests that it has magical power because magic stems from shared belief. It is also a fragile relic that has been in the Church's possession for many centuries, and is politically very significant.[1]

Dresden felt a tingling sensation when he touched the Shroud.[2]

In the series[]

Death Masks[]

In Death Masks, Harry Dresden is hired by Father Vincent to find and retrieve the Shroud of Turin.[3] He almost obtains it from Anna Valmont and Francisca Garcia on the Etranger. Valmont gets the drop on Dresden. Deirdre Archleone attacks the ship, kills Garcia, and puts a hole in the hull, but Valmont gets away with the Shroud. Dresden discovers where to find Valmont and the Shroud just in time to escape the sinking ship.[2]

Dresden tracks down the Shroud to a basement in the Marriott Downtown Chicago Hotel, where he secretly watches the deal go down between Valmont and Marcone via palmtop computer. Once payment is made, Valmont informs Marcone that it's in a tube with an explosive device that she'll disengage once she is clear, thus foiling Dresden's plan to take it behind Valmont's back.[4] The Order of the Blackened Denarius, led by Nicodemus Archleone with Deirdre and Quintus Cassius, attacks. Susan Rodriguez and Martin escape with Valmont but Nicodemus kidnaps Dresden and the Shroud.[5]

Quintus Cassius had been impersonating Father Vincent. Dresden finds out from him that the shroud is going to be used from the O'hare Airport to fuel a curse that releases a contagion to spread all over the world.[6]

Shiro Yoshimo tells Dresden that as long as Nicodemus touches the Shroud, the curse holds. Once he gets it away from him, the curse will end.[7] With Marcone's help, Dresden, Michael Carpenter, and Sanya recover the shroud, which Marcone keeps.[8]

Dresden follows Marcone to a hospital where he places the Shroud over a little girl—Helen Beckitt's daughter Amanda Beckitt— who is in a coma after taking a bullet meant for him. Father Forthill anonymously receives the Shroud at Saint Mary of the Angels church shortly after.[9]

Skin Game[]

In Skin Game, the real Shroud was stored in Hades' Vault; the cloth stolen by the Churchmice was an imitation. Dresden is able to secure it and hide it from Nicodemus Archleone before he reaches the amphitheater.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Death Masks, ch. 3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Death Masks, ch. 12
  3. Death Masks, ch. 2-3
  4. Death Masks, ch. 19
  5. Death Masks, ch. 20
  6. Death Masks, ch. 28
  7. Death Masks, ch. 31
  8. Death Masks, ch. 32
  9. Death Masks, ch. 33
  10. Skin Game, ch. 40

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