Blood of Pope St. John Paul II’s in liquid state, considered a “first-class” relic by the Catholic Church, will be on display for veneration at Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul, 18th & the Parkway, this weekend.
Times are on Saturday, 5:15 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
At the conclusion of each Mass there will be a blessing with the Relic of Pope St. John Paul II asking for his heavenly intercession. Everyone is welcome to the Cathedral Basilica for this weekend of devotion.
The Relic is of the Holy Father’s blood, which remains in a liquid state. The Knights of Columbus have been entrusted with this Relic to foster devotion to Pope St. John Paul II.
The relic’s tour began in Boston, the first American city where Pope John Paul II said Mass in 1979. The relic was on display to worshipers in New York and now Philadelphia, before ending up in Baltimore.
The golden relic is normally housed at the St. John Paul II shrine in Washington, D.C. It has a glass vial containing the Pope’s blood at its center and is surrounded by a cloudlike shape with 12 red stones, which represent Jesus’s 12 Apostles.
Catholicism views relics as holy objects. They come in three different classes: a first-class relic is something from the body of a saint, such as the vial of John Paul II’s blood; a second-class relic is something used by a saint; and a third-class relic is something touched by a first-class relic. Several other relics containing the blood of Pope John Paul II – now known as St. John Paul II – are on display across the world, with one stolen and quickly recovered by police in Italy earlier this year.
Pope John Paul II was born in Poland. He was the third-longest serving Pope in history, heading up the Catholic church from 1978 until his death in 2005. During that time he visited more than 120 countries, once saying the Pope should not remain “a prisoner of the Vatican.”