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Vial of John Paul II’s blood to be venerated at beatification

By on Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Images of the late pope outside a souvenir shop in his hometown of Wadowice, Poland (CNS photo/Kacper Pempel, Reuters)

Images of the late pope outside a souvenir shop in his hometown of Wadowice, Poland (CNS photo/Kacper Pempel, Reuters)

A small vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood is to be the relic for the Mass for his beatification, the Vatican has said.

The relic will be presented to Pope Benedict XVI and exposed for veneration during the Mass in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, the Vatican said today. After the Mass, it will be kept with other modern relics in the Apostolic Palace.

The Vatican explained that four vials of blood were drawn from Pope John Paul during the final stage of his illness by his personal physician. The vials were sent to the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome in case the ailing pope needed a transfusion, it said.

No transfusion was ever needed, and after the death of Pope John Paul on April 2, 2005, two of the vials went to the pope’s personal secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland, and the other two remained in the custody of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul at the hospital, the Vatican said.

One of the vials of blood from the hospital will be presented for veneration at the beatification Mass and be placed in a “precious reliquary specially made” for the occasion, it said.

The second vial will remain at the hospital.

The Vatican said the blood in all four vials has not solidified because an anti-coagulant had been added at the time the blood was drawn.

  • Memory-of-Forever

    isn’t this idolatry and “amulet”-type worship? his blood? seriously?

  • Ratbag

    NOBODY worshipped Blessed John Henry Newman’s relics at Cofton Park in Birmingham…. and I was there.

    What I ask people who think like you, Memory-of-Forever, is:

    What’s the difference between keeping a lock of your loved one’s hair in a gold locket and showing it to your friends and family from time to time… and exposing or keeping relics of saints and martyrs at their beatification? God, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, is alone worshipped NOT the relic!

    It is in the Roman Catholic catechism that we DO NOT WORSHIP RELICS as, I quote, they can ‘… neither see us, nor hear us, nor help us.’

    At my dad’s and grandma’s funerals, objects and belongings that were dear to them in their lives were brought up to the altar at the offertory procession. It wasn’t to worship those objects! It brought a part of them back to us as people who lived their life and were amongst us in ours.

    What better relic of the soon-to-be Blessed John Paul II, Pope than a vial of his own blood?

    The early Christians kept vials of the blood of martyrs and their remains as relics. Every Roman Catholic Church has a tiny relic of a saint secreted within the altars of their churches, maintaining a custom which goes back to Christ Himself when Saint Helena – the mother of Emperor Constantine – discovered the True Cross and other relics from the Passion and Death of Christ.

    Prince William could have gone to an exclusive jewellers to make a unique engagement ring for Kate Middleton (soon to be HRH Princess William of Wales or the Duchess of…). But, no, he gave her his mother’s iconic sapphire and diamond ring so that his late mother, Diana Princess of Wales, would be with them in spirit at their wedding and their lives thereafter.

    Do you call that idol worship?

    I don’t. I call that being human.

  • Arnoldschwarts

    No wonder many anglicans are so against the roman catholic church specifically because of this kind of devilish and un-christian worship.

  • Alban

    With this vial of Pope JP2′s blood, expect miracles to start popping out like sausages from a meat grinder. What a racket this Bavarian bureaucrat has going for him.

  • Audrey Yii

    *Thumbs up* Well explained!

    Let’s together look forward to John Paul II’s beatification!

  • paul

    I didnt know if Anglicans were Christians

  • paul

    simple minded men like you,will think that way

  • DBMcGinnity

    The Vatican have learned nothing from the past! The nonsense continues.

  • Memory-of-Forever

    yes indeed good reply, but still, the title said to be venerated, and we know what veneration to saints is in Catholicism… soon miracles will be attributed to it! I get the idea of having the Cross used as a relic, but a man’s blood?

  • Martin

    Stupid comment paul, some of them would say the same thing about Catholics. You are in no position to cast a vote on this matter, the Judgement of whether or not they/you/me really are Christian sits with Jesus Christ alone.

    Thank God for that!

    Your comment here simply widens a wound affecting the heart of Christ.

  • Ratbag

    You speak for yourself!

  • Ratbag

    Miracles are very carefully and thoroughly examined by people of all faiths and none… not like a production line. It’s a long, drawn out process.

    Tut, tut, Alban! Your education must have been pretty expensive to come out with an ill-informed, ignorant and cheap comment like yours!

  • Ratbag

    I’ve read the article – some of it is nonsense, a lot of it isn’t…

    Nowadays, science can determine the authenticity of relics.

    Just look at how much research has gone into the Holy Shroud of Turin and other relics – it’s fascinating!

    Would my faith be affected if a relic turns out to be an elaborate fake?


    The relic at the British Museum might well be a cloth which wiped the Holy Face of Christ…maybe one of the women from Jerusalem wiped his face, too! Or Veronica may have used two veils to wipe Christ’s face on his way to Calvary – one of which has been stored in the Vatican for several centuries. Didn’t Joseph of Arimathea, in whose tomb Christ was buried, visit England? Doesn’t one of the sceptres used in the Coronation of a British monarch contain a fragment of the True Cross?

    There is the Sudarium of Christ in Oviedo in Spain, which contained the remains of Christ’s blood from his face when he was taken down from the cross. It is said in the Gospels that Jesus Christ was buried in ‘the Jewish burial custom’, of which the sudarium was a part.

    It is part of the human condition to make a connection with people, living and dead, events and milestones.

    So, DBMcGinnity, is visiting the grave of your loved ones a nonsense? Hey, they are just bones and teeth under 6 feet of soil after all! Worm food! You find that offensive? If you do, then you and others who blow hot air about what you and others erroneously describe as ‘relic worship’ have lost the plot!

  • Ratbag

    There is a famous relic of Christ’s Blood in Bruges, Belgium.

  • Ratbag

    I’m looking forward to the soon-to-be Blessed John Paul II’s beatification. The saint-maker becoming a saint-in-the-making on May 1 – the Feast of Divine Mercy, which he made into a major feast.

  • Taggart

    Of course you didnt, your roman bible the catechism doesnt teach about the catholic orthodox church or Anglican patrimony Or for that matter the worship of Christ himself. I guess your too busy worshipping your self proclaimed God, the vicar of Christ, Holy Father and Holy See.

    “The Pope is of great authority and power, that he is able to modify, declare, or interpret even divine laws. “Prompta Bibliotheca Canonica, Juridica, Moralis, Theologica, Ascetica, Polemica, Rubristica, Historica”, Volume V, article on “Papa, Article II”, #30, published in Petit-Montrouge (Paris) by J. P. Migne, 1858 edition.

    “Those whom the Pope of Rome doth separate, it is not a man that separates them but God. For the Pope holdeth place on earth, not simply of a man but of the true God….dissolves, not by human but rather by divine authority….I am in all and above all, so that God Himself and I, the vicar of God, hath both one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do…wherefore, if those things that I do be said not to be done of man, but of God, what do you make of me but God? Again, if prelates of the Church be called of Constantine for gods, I then being above all prelates, seem by this reason to be above all gods.”

    ‘Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of hell’ New York Catechism.

    ‘The First See is judged by no one.’ 1983 Canon Law

    ‘Every one of the faithful must adhere to such teachings with the obedience of faith’. ccc Para, 185

    The first lie of Satan, ‘ye shall be as gods’ Genesis 3:5

    ‘who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God showing himself that he is God’ Thess, 2:4

    ‘And I saw and look! A white horse;and a crown was given to him, and he went forth conquering and to complete his conquest’ Rev 6:2-8

  • Taggart

    He speaks for many

  • Ratbag


  • Anonymous

    John Paul II was a great Pope in my opinion, but I do find the veneration of a vial of blood as remarkably strange. Surely we should cherish the man for his great work and service to the Church? The only importance of his blood, as with all our blood, is to move oxygen around the body to keep us alive.
    Akin to venerating another vital part of our bodies – like our kidneys or lungs, seems a very odd thing to do.

    Regardless, a great man in my opinion.

  • Sandy

    A bit ghoulish for the modern world methinks.

  • Anne-brechet

    I agree, I am an anglican, (converted and forgiven) but because I live in France I go to the only church here (RC).

    It’s by Christ’s blood we are healed and forgiven. I cannot imagine why we are going back to the middle ages in keeping this, I find it disgusting and completely contra to Biblical teaching. My French RC husband is not commenting at the moment!


  • Anonymous

    STOP PRESS: John Paul II’s blood miraculously starts boiling after Brazil grants equal rights to gay couples.

  • Anonymous

    STOP PRESS: John Paul II’s blood miraculously starts boiling after Brazil grants legal status to gay couples.

  • DBMcGinnity

    This “Mishegoss” is the stuff of Voodoo rituals Haiti or Benin and The Catholic Church’s preoccupations with blood as with Constantine’s Sol Invictus is still predominant in church ritual and it is deeply offensive to the dignity of humanity.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure you know what you’re talking about, but I think at the end you overstate the case a little. People who venerate vials of blood undermine no-one’s dignity but their own, and anyone who manages to be offended by such harmless eccentricity probably has more than the optimum amount of dignity.