About five days ago, a relic of Blessed John Paul II containing a blood stained cloth was stolen from the sanctuary of San Pietro della lenca on the mountain peak of Gran Sasso in Abruzzo, Italy.
At first it was believed to be the work of ‘Satanists” who supposedly have a ‘feast day’ or ‘new year’ of sorts today. However, arrests were made and the relic was recovered. Three men were arrested who are known by local police for small crimes. They are described as drug addicts and are in their early 20’s.
The thieves claim they did not know what the relic was or the value of it and apparently were only interested in the metal of the reliquary which is often heavily decorated and gives the impression that it is pure gold or rich in real gems. The parts of the relic were found in a garage in tempera, L’Aquila.
Relics have been used since Old Testament times (2 Kings 13:21). Relics remind us of the humanity of a saint while at the same time recalling their virtues. The Church classifies them into three categories: First, Second and Third.
- First Class relics are direct bodily remains from a saint or blessed which can be bone, flesh, hair, or blood.
- Second Class relics are items a saint or blessed used, such as: vestments, a habit, other clothing, or other typical things like pens, furniture, book etc.
- Third Class relics are relics that are touched to a first or second class relic.
The relic comes from 1981 when Blessed John Paul II was shot at St. Peter’s Square. It was given to the chapel by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz because Pope John Paul II used to vacation there and used the land to ski.
It is safe to say that our Holy Father, Bl. John Paul II has forgiven the perpetrators and we all should do the same.
We should pray for these young men and hopefully church officials will reach out to them so they can break their addictions and be introduced to just work in order to live life the right way.
Pope John Paul II is scheduled to be officially canonized April 27, 2014.
Here are more Scripture Passages on Relics:
Acts 19:11-12 – St. Paul’s handkerchiefs were used to heal the sick and exorcise demons.
Acts 5:15 – Even the shadow of St. Peter healed people