In 2011, John Paul’s former private secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, gave the local Abruzzo community the relic of the late pontiff’s blood, exhibited at the Shrine in San Pietro della Ienca. (L’Aquila)
Police recovered a holy relic of Pope John Paul II that was stolen from a mountainside chapel this week. Police found the fragment in the garage of two men who were detained for having stolen the reliquary last week.
A holy relic of the late Pope John Paul II that was stolen last week from a mountainside chapel in the central Italian region of Abruzzo has been recovered, a church prelate said Friday.
Three young men with confessed to the crime on Thursday, after police found the case that contained a piece of cloth doused in the blood of the Polish pope near a treatment centre for drug addicts.
“I do not know these three youths, but I think they will have the total pardon from Pope John Paul II and also from us,” the Auxiliary Bishop of L’Aquila, Giovanni D’Ercole, said in a press conference with police.
The precious relic, which the culprits had discarded separately, was recovered and pieced back together by the bishop, who said only a few fragments were missing.
Police were still searching for them. The cloth – part of the robe John Paul II was wearing when he survived a shooting in St Peter’s Square in 1981 – was stolen at the end of last week, along with a crucifix, from the church of San Pietro della Ienca, a hamlet near L’Aquila.
More… Two suspects were described as drug addicts in their 20s, who were known to the police for petty crimes. They told officials that they did not know the value of the items they were accused of taking. Police were reportedly still searching for gold fragments missing from the vial.