JPII Relics to be Displayed During May 1 Beatification

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

The Vatican Press Office has just released a communique announcing the planned exposition of a reliquary containing the blood of the late John Paul II during this weekend’s beatification ceremony.

“The reliquary that will be displayed for the veneration of the faithful, on the occasion of the beatification of Pope John Paul II, is a small ampoule of his blood contained within a precious reliquary that the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has prepared expressly for the occasion. It is opportune to explain briefly, but precisely, the origin of this reliquary,” the communique begins.

During the last days of the Holy Father’s illness, medical personnel extracted blood to be held at the transfusion center of the Bambino Gesu Hospital, in the case of an eventual transfusion.

When no transfusion took place, the blood was conserved in four small containers. Two of these containers were given to the late pope’s personal secretary, Cardinal Dziwisz, and the other two remained at Bambino Gesu where they were looked after by the hospital’s religious staff. It is these last two vials that have been place in reliquaries for veneration by the faithful during the May 1 beatification ceremony.   

After the ceremony, one reliquary will be kept in the “Sacrario”, in the charge of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, together with other important reliquaries. The second will be returned to the care of the Bambino Gesu Hospital, whose religious staff have safeguarded this precious relic throughout these years.

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