VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Thieves reportedly stole a relic of Blessed John Paul II from a country chapel 85 miles east of Rome.
Italian media reported Jan. 27 that the relic, a piece of fabric soaked in Blessed John Paul’s blood, had disappeared over the preceding weekend from the church of San Pietro della Ienca. The church is located near the city of L’Aquila, in the mountainous Abruzzo region where the late pope frequently went on brief vacations.
One of the volunteers who takes care of the church, where Blessed John Paul often prayed, discovered that intruders sawed through bars over the one of the windows and made off with the relic as well as a cross.
The local “carabinieri” military police were reportedly searching the surrounding woods with dogs, in case the thieves had discarded the relic there.
Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, who served as Blessed John Paul’s personal secretary during his pontificate, gave the relic to the chapel in recognition of the late pope’s many visits. The fabric was reportedly soaked in Blessed John Paul’s blood following the attempt to assassinate him in 1981.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. 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 here: