Vial of late Pope’s blood donated to Manila Cathedral

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Bill Clinton and Georg Bush Sr. were among the dignitaries to pay their respects following the Pope’s death in 2005

Manila Cathedral has received a vial of the blood of former Pope and now St John Paul II from his former secretary.

In a statement, the Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Intramuros, Manila, which recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of its post-war construction, said it had received a “very precious Christmas gift” on Monday, December 18.

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“The Manila Cathedral received a very precious Christmas gift today! Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz, Pope St. John Paul II’s former secretary and Archbishop-Emeritus of Krakow, gave us a very rare relic “ex sanguine” of the great Pope contained in a vial,” it said.

“It is a great honour for the Manila Cathedral, our Mother Church, to be the custodian of this precious relic, as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the rebuilding of the Post-War Cathedral,” the statement added.

With this, the Cathedral is also looking for a shrine for them to display the relic for the faithful to venerate.

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“We hope to find a proper reliquary for it soon so that we could expose it for the veneration of the faithful,” it added.

Pope John Paul II celebrated mass at Manila Cathedral in 1981.

He was also the Pope who raised the Cathedral, through a Motu Proprio, meaning through his own initiative, to a Minor Basilica.

The former Pope died at the Vatican on April 2, 2005. He was 84.

He was beatified on May 1, 2011, in Saint Peter’s Square and was canonised on April 27, 2014, after two nuns claimed to have been healed of illness after praying to him.

Worldwide, there are only three relics containing the former Pope’s blood, including one that was stolen in Italy in 2014. It was later recovered from a bin outside a drug rehabilitation centre.

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