POPE JOHN PAUL’S BLOOD STOLEN FROM ITALY CHURCH
Sadly , Thieves broke into a small church in the mountains east of Rome over the weekend and stole a reliquary with the blood of the late Pope John Paul II, on saturday from the San Pietro della Ienca church .
Dozens of police with sniffer dogs scoured the remote area for clues to what the Italian Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana called “a sacrilegious theft that was probably commissioned by someone”.
Franca Corrieri told Reuters she had discovered a broken window early on Sunday morning and had called the police. When they entered the small stone church they found the gold reliquary and a crucifix missing.
John Paul, who died in 2005, loved the mountains in the Abruzzo region. He would sometimes slip away from the Vatican secretly to hike or ski there and pray in the church.
the relic is not a vial of blood but a framed, tiny square of cloth stained with the pope’s blood, Pasquale Corriere, head of the “San Pietro della Ienca” association, told AFP.
Polish-born John Paul, who reigned for 27 years, is due to be made a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in May, meaning the relic will become more noteworthy and valuable.
In 2011, John Paul’s former private secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, now archbishop of Krakow in Poland, gave the local Abruzzo community some of the late pontiff’s blood as a token of the love he had felt for the mountainous area.
The cloth, which reportedly comes from the robe the pontiff was wearing when he was shot in an assassination attempt in 1981, is enclosed in a gold and glass circular case.It was put in a gold and glass circular case and kept in a niche of the small mountain church of San Pietro della Ienca, near the city of L’Aquila.
Corrieri, who is part of an association that looks after the small church, said the incident felt more like a “kidnapping” than a theft. “In a sense, a person has been stolen,” she said by telephone.
She said she could not say if the intention of the thieves may have been to seek a ransom for the blood.
Apart from the reliquary and a crucifix, nothing else was stolen from the isolated church, even though Corrieri said the thieves would probably have had time to take other objects during the night-time theft.
Some of John Paul’s blood was saved after an assassination attempt that nearly killed him in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981.
“The church was closed because of a snow storm. When we went to reopen it, we saw the bars on one of the windows had been sawn through. The thieves entered that way, and stole the relic,” Corriere said.
The framed cloth was given to the small church in 2011 by Stanislaw Dziwisz, a cardinal who served as John Paul II’s personal secretary until his death in 2005.
“I have no idea who could be behind such a terrible theft,” Corriere said.
Corriere said there are only three vials in the world containing the former pontiff’s blood.
John Paul II and the Italian pope John XXIII are set to become saints in a ceremony at the Vatican in April — an event which will substantially increase the value of the stolen relic.
ROME (Reuters) –
Posted on January 28, 2014, in HOME and tagged Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, church of San Pietro della Ienca, Italy, John Paul, Pasquale Corriere, pope john paul, pope john paul blood stolen, religious relic stolen, San Pietro della Ienca. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.