Tags: pope | john paul ii | relic | stolen | blood

Pope John Paul II Relic, Cloth With Blood Droplet, Stolen From Church

Image: Pope John Paul II Relic, Cloth With Blood Droplet, Stolen From Church
People stroll through a park near the UNESCO world heritage the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, April 28, 2016. (Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)

By    |   Monday, 06 Jun 2016 10:38 AM

A relic of Pope John Paul II, a cloth featuring a drop of the former church leader's blood, was reported missing Sunday from Cologne Cathedral in Germany.

"Although the material value is low, the spiritual value is a lot bigger," the cathedral's provost Gerd Bachner said in a statement, appealing to the thief to return the relic, according to Reuters.

The cloth was in a glass container at the base of a statue, which was removed sometime overnight Saturday. A visitor alerted a church official on Sunday that it was missing.

Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral in 1980, NBC News reported. He led the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005.

Relics are the remains of the body or clothes of a departed saint, according to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine website. Faithful visitors venerate relics to seek the intercession of the saint on their behalf.

In 2014, a relic from Pope John Paul II was stolen from the Church of San Pietro della Ienca in central Italy. That blood-stained cloth fabric was quickly recovered by police, who found it in the garbage of the suspected thieves, two men believed to be drug addicts, NBC News reported.

Later that year, a vial of the late pope's blood was put on tour in the United States, starting in Boston, the first American city where the Polish-born pope said Mass in 1979, The Independent reported.

Pope John Paul II was canonized on April 27, 2014, a day celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday, according to Catholic News Service, which noted that the former pope "emphasized God's mercy and readiness to forgive those who recognize their need for pardon."

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A relic of Pope John Paul II, a cloth featuring a drop of the former church leader's blood, was reported missing Sunday from Cologne Cathedral in Germany.
pope, john paul ii, relic, stolen, blood
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2016-38-06
Monday, 06 Jun 2016 10:38 AM
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