Just a few months before his canonization, a vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood has been stolen from a small church in the mountains of Italy.
Franca Corrieri, the custodian of San Pietro della lenca, noticed on Sunday morning that one of the church’s windows was broken. When police arrived, they discovered the gold reliquary that held the blood and a crucifix missing. Nothing else was stolen from the church.
Corrieri said the theft felt more like a kidnapping. She said,
“In a sense, a person has been stolen.”
Pope John Paul II was a great lover of the outdoors, and during his pontificate he would leave the Vatican secretly to hike or ski in the mountains near San Pietro della lenca. The vial of blood was given to the small church by Pope John Paul II’s former secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, because of the late-pontiff’s love of the mountainous area.
Read the full story on the theft at The Guardian.