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)
Thieves broke into the Shrine in San Pietro della Ienca in the mountains east of Rome and stole a vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood.
The Guardian reported:
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.
A custodian, Franca Corrieri, said 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 of Italy. He would sometimes slip away from the Vatican secretly to hike or ski there and pray in the church.
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, 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.
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.
Authorities say the vandalism may be a possible “Satanic theft.”