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Relic of pope John Paul II’s blood stolen from Italian cathedral

Rome: A gold and crystal casing holding drops of the blood of Saint Pope John Paul II has been stolen from the cathedral of the central Italian city of Spoleto, its bishop said.

The casing, known as a reliquary, was snatched on Wednesday from an altar dedicated to the Polish pope, who died in 2005 after a 27-year reign.

Pope Benedict XVI kisses the glass reliquary containing the blood of late Pope John Paul II, during the beatification ceremony at the Vatican in 2011. The object has been stolen from a church in Spoleto, Italy.

Pope Benedict XVI kisses the glass reliquary containing the blood of late Pope John Paul II, during the beatification ceremony at the Vatican in 2011. The object has been stolen from a church in Spoleto, Italy.Credit:AP

A sacristan who was closing the cathedral for the night discovered the theft of the reliquary, which encased a vial holding a few drops of blood.

Relics, which Catholics venerate as they pray to the saint, are usually pieces of a saint’s body or clothing.

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