MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — The Archdiocese of Manila will be the custodian of a relic of St. John Paul II: a vial of the late pope’s blood that was to be placed in a reliquary for veneration starting April 7.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, St. John Paul II’s former secretary and retired archbishop of Krakow, Poland, gave the archdiocese the vial as a gift for the 60th anniversary of Manila Cathedral’s reconstruction after World War II, ucanews.com reported.
“This precious gift … is truly a source of consolation and help especially for those who are suffering physical illnesses,” read a statement from Manila Cathedral.
Relics have always received particular veneration and attention in the Catholic Church because of the belief that the bodies of saints have become instruments of their holiness.
“Let those who have special intentions and petitions come in veneration and prayer,” the statement said.
Father Reggie Malecdem, Manila Cathedral rector, said it was a “great honor” for the church to be the custodian of the relic.
“We did not expect that Cardinal Dziwisz would send us still liquified blood,” he said during a media briefing April 5.
A Poland-based Filipino nun brought the relic to Manila in December. It is the first such relic of a saint’s blood still in liquid form in the Philippines.
Toward the end of the late pope’s life, doctors extracted blood from him in case there was a need for an emergency transfusion. The blood is still in liquid form because of an anti-coagulant present in the test tubes at the moment of extraction.
Only seven vials of liquid blood from St. John Paul are enshrined in churches around the world.
The relic was placed inside a reliquary, which is the exact copy of the one that was presented during the pope’s beatification and canonization in 2014.
St. John Paul II, who was pope from 1978 to 2005, celebrated Mass at the cathedral during a visit to the Philippines in February 1981.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: