Thieves steal a vial containing Pope St John Paul’s blood

Thieves have stolen a vial containing Pope St. John Paul’s blood from an Italian cathedral.

On Wednesday last week the Spoleto Cathedral’ sacristan, who is in charge of protecting the building and its contents, discovered the vial was missing.

Archbishop Renato Boccardo of Spoleto-Norcia, who was a close aide to John Paul for years at the Vatican, is pleading with those responsible for the theft to “give the reliquary back to the cathedral and the faithful.”

The stolen gold and crystal vial was part of a relic – one of several containing the late-pontiff’s blood. It had been stored in the Spoleto Cathedral chapel on an altar dedicated to John Paul, who died in 2005.

It was a gift from the Archbishop of Kraków to the Archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia in 2016.

The archdiocese had been planning to move the relic to a new church in honor of Pope St John Paul on 22 October, which is his feast day.

Boccardo says it is not clear if the vial containing Pope St. John Paul’s blood has been stolen for ransom, which has happened in the past with other such artifacts in Italy.

The police have launched an investigation to try and find the culprits. They have reviewed CCTV from inside and outside the building, but have not said if they have identified a suspect.


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