today's Pick
Relic of John Paul II's blood stolen in Italy
Publish Date: Jan 29, 2014
Relic of John Paul II's blood stolen in Italy
Pope John Paul II
  • mail
  • img
newvision

ROME - A religious relic stained with Polish pope John Paul II's blood has been stolen from a church in Italy, sparking a region-wide search with police and sniffer dogs.

It was stolen on Saturday from the San Pietro della Ienca church in the mountainous Abruzzo region in central Italy where the pope, who died in 2005, loved to go on skiing holidays.

Contrary to previous media reports, 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.

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.

"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.

According to local media reports, some 50 police officers and sniffer dogs are sweeping the area, famed for its weathered stone houses and the little church where the head of the Catholic Church once reportedly took refuge in a storm.

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.

The Polish pope was nearly killed in an assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
US considers putting North Korea on terror list
The United States is mulling whether or not to place North Korea back onto its list of state sponsors of terrorism, President Barack Obama said Sunday....
‘Help students choose careers of their interest’
Inadequate counseling and career guidance services in schools has been pointed out as a big problem hindering learners from pursuing their careers....
Real Madrid win Club World Cup in Morocco
Real Madrid defeated San Lorenzo of Argentina 2-0 on Saturday to win the Club World Cup and secure their fourth trophy of 2014....
Bayern
Bayern Munich will start 2015 with a record 11-point lead in the Bundesliga, sparking debate over how to stop Germany's top flight becoming boring....
North Korea seeks joint probe into Sony hack
North Korea on Saturday called for a joint investigation with the United States into a crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures, claiming it had means to prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with it....
Obama to N. Korea over Sony hack:
US President Barack Obama has warned North Korea it would face retaliation for a crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures over an irreverent film comedy that infuriated Pyongyang....
Do you agree with the ban on the export of maids?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter