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John Paul’s Blood to be Split Between Italy, Poland

c. 2011 Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A small quantity of blood from the late Pope John Paul II will be exposed as a holy relic during his beatification on Sunday (May 1), the Vatican has announced.

The blood was taken during a medical test shortly before John Paul’s death in April 2005, and later divided into four containers, according to a Vatican statement released on Tuesday (April 26).

Two of the containers were kept by then-Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, John Paul’s private secretary, who is now a cardinal in John Paul’s native Krakow, Poland. The other two containers were kept by Catholic nuns at Rome’s Bambino Gesu Hospital.


The Rome containers have been placed in reliquaries, one of which will be “presented for the veneration of the faithful” during Sunday’s ceremony in St. Peter’s Square when John Paul is elevated to the step below sainthood.

The other reliquary will be returned to the custody of the hospital’s nuns.

As reported earlier, some of same blood will be permanently displayed at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki, outside Krakow. The display will begin on May 8, the feast of Poland’s Patron St. Stanislaw.

The Vatican’s statement, presumably hoping to dispel any thoughts of supernatural explanation, noted that the blood remains in a liquid state, due to the presence of an “anticoagulant” at the time of collection.

Residents of Naples, Italy, traditionally believe that the dried blood of their patron saint, Januarius, regularly liquefies as a favorable omen for the city.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cody gravitt

    R.I.P pope john paul II. U are and always will be missed. Please look over me and my family

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Must have drawn a bunch of blood from the Dude before he left this mortal coil. Yea! Blood.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    I’m guessing there’s a real split here between readers who think this is great and those who think it’s a little sick. I’m in the latter group.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kenneth

    And they call ME pagan!…..

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Terry

    Does anyone really believe in this stuff anymore?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Apparently, Terry—a tradition in the RCC—bones, hair etc. from dead people, special dead people that is. WOW! Now they have BLOOD of THE POPE! Whoopie! :o)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kenneth

    This is all core stuff in spell work, the idea that blood or other tissues of a person can serve as an access point for sympathetic magick for healing or harming or to invoke some of the essence or traits of that person. I’ve done a very little bit of blood magick myself (my own blood.) What’s so amusing to me is that we have a church which constantly rails against the practice of magick because now they have the “real” God and not superstition. Yet here they stand, collarbone-deep in occult practice…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment DotNotInOz

    “This is all core stuff in spell work, the idea that blood or other tissues of a person can serve as an access point for sympathetic magick for healing or harming or to invoke some of the essence or traits of that person.”

    True enough. However, Catholics don’t actually use the blood or other bodily relics for anything but display to inspire prayer to the saint. It’s more akin to keeping a photo of a loved one in a prominent place in your home than to anything resembling use of the substance in a magickal sense.

    The idea that one might invoke the essence or traits of the person by praying before a relic of this type would be regarded as idolatry.

    So, I really don’t see any commonality at all with the uses of such substances in magick rituals.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jestrfyl

    There is so much about the RCC to admire and respect. But this kind of thing leads first to a well deserved “Eeeewwww” and then to a sincere question about idolatry and inferences of magic. This does a lot to discredit the institution. It simply seems to continue to pander to the magical wishes of people who are desperate and unable or unwilling to cope with the actualities of life. For every “confirmed” miracle there have to be thousands of “rejections”. I look for the day when the RCC takes its own statements on faith seriously and sets aide this magical orientation and opportunity for manipulation.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    The RCC has held on to archaic ideas, so it only follows if they don’t hold onto bits of deceased Saints bodies they would have to let go of all the rest of the ancient practises they do. Blood carries many diseases and other cells as well. The thought of it is repulsive to me.

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