April 27th, 2011
06:58 AM ET

Pope John Paul II's blood to be shown at beatification

By Hada Messia and Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Blood taken from the late Pope John Paul II will be used Sunday as the Vatican declares him "blessed," the last step before sainthood, the Catholic Church announced.

The blood will be on display as a relic for Catholic faithful to venerate at the beatification ceremony, the Vatican said this week.

Special relic holders have been made for two small glass bottles of John Paul's blood, the church said.

Pope Benedict XVI will preside Sunday over the beatification at St. Peter's, an event expected to draw hundreds of thousands of Catholic faithful to Rome.

Benedict ruled that his predecessor should be beatified after a nun suffering from Parkinson's disease said she was cured after sisters in her order prayed to John Paul II.

Doctors took the from the pope before he died in 2005, the Vatican said in a statement Monday.

Medical staff wanted it for possible transfusions during what turned out to be the pope's final illness, but John Paul died without using it, the church said.

The blood was divided into four small bottles, two of which were kept by John Paul's secretary Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz and two of which remained at the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, the Vatican said.

One of the hospital's ampules will be on display on Sunday and will then enter the Vatican's "sacrarium," while the other will stay at the hospital.

The blood is still liquid because doctors added anti-coagulents to it when it was taken.

The Catholic tradition of venerating saints' physical remains - known as relics - dates back to the earliest days of the church.

With the beatification Sunday, John Paul II will not become a saint, but will be one step below it, and will be known as the Blessed John Paul II. The Vatican would have to credit him with a second miracle for him to be declared a saint.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Italy • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

soundoff (269 Responses)
  1. GI JOHN

    “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.”
    Repent all you Popes, Bishops, Cardinals.......Your Father is Satan!
    Repent Catholics! You are being deceived by the master of deception.....Satan.
    You follow the traditions of man. You are not followers of Jesus Christ. Wake up! The Pope is just a man like you and I. Quit treating him like he is God. You will see on Judgment Day that I do not speak on my own. The words I speak are from Christ. You do not reject me, you reject Christ.
    No need for any of you athiests or evolutuinists to respond. This does not concern you! You know nothing of the spiritual world. You blindly walk around convincing yourselves God is a fairy tale. Believing satans greatest deception of all....evolution! Satans says to his fallen angels;"Watch this.....I will make up an absolutely ridiculous theory that will violate the priciples of the Science they follow, and they will still cling to the lie!" The fact is you love the world, you love yourself and you look for anything to escape being held accountable for your wickedness! REPENT AMERICA! You are on the verge of being destroyed!

    April 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • SayHey

      Keep your thoughts and comments to yourself; you know nothing of religion, or of Catholic Religion speaking that babble toward others. It’s called belief. People have a right to believe in whatever they want. Sad thing is it’s tearing you up inside that you cannot do anything about it. Good luck with your burden in life.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Add to the list of things you know nothing of: evolution and science.

      April 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Iceman

      Say Hey you must not know anything about your own religion, because if you knew of this devil religion then you would keep your trap shut..

      April 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  2. theod

    The only actual miracle attributable to JP2 was that he was able to so blithely and completely ignore the International RC Pederasty Ring and resultant Pedophilia Scandal/Coverup for his whole tenure.....even though it started way, way before him and continues still to this very minute.

    April 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  3. jsaiditfirst

    Venerating the mans blood so that people have something to come and visit and meditate on, is not the first act of sin the church committed in using John Paul's blood, because the worship of him when he was alive (if thats what it is) is where the sin began.

    April 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  4. Iceman

    Foolishness and the people who follow them. Really? I mean these people see nothing wrong with this? Babylon, The Great Beast, the city on 7 hills, all of it applies to the RCC

    April 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  5. Kevin Weslyn

    Jesus always told the healed, "Your faith has cured you." This is a true statement, especially psychologically. Praying to saints is senseless, and to relics ridiculous. Faith knows no bounds. It is shameful that human faith should be detoured to secondary and tertiary ends.
    One need not be part of any religion to see that what people believe makes it true. This is so in politics, economics, society and to a large extent even in fields like science. it is most obviously true in religion. Every religion has its miracles, thus proving that none has a monopoly and, so, it is not the individual religion that 'works'.
    Jesus once told his followers, "If you say to this mountain, 'Throw yourself into the sea' and you believe in your heart, it will be done." What do you think a person as enlightened as Jesus meant by saying that? He was displaying a principle of human psychology and the power of belief. There is no objective way of proving or disproving to anyone what he or she completely and sincerely believes, so it remains true even if only in the tiny corner of the universe which is the person.

    April 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Buckminster Fullerene

      Agree. On the other side of the quadrangle, the physicists know that the act of observation "crashes" the system. It's called Quantum Mechanics. Makes a lot more sense to me.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  6. Estevan

    I wonder if drinking his blood would give me special magical powers?

    April 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Susan

      It could possibly give you aids

      April 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  7. Estevan

    I have come to suc-k your blood! Bleugh! Bleugh!

    April 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  8. Doc Vestibule

    In the middle ages, there were travelling salesmen who traded in "Holy Relics" – and it was a booming business!
    The bones/body parts of saints and martyrs were in high demand.
    One European church even claimed to have the brain of St. Peter! Though it later turned out to be a piece of pumice stone.
    Everything from Mother Mary's breast milk to Christ's foreskin were bought, sold, displayed and venerated. People would make a pilgrimage of hundreds of miles to pray before one of these relics.
    Perhaps the most famous modern example is the Shroud of Turin.
    Every single one of them was a hoax.
    At least JP's blood is verifiably his!

    April 27, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  9. Judge

    We see numerous examples in the Bible of God using the body parts of His Saints or even articles of their clothing to convey His healing power and grace. For example, in 2 Kings 13:20-21, we can read of a dead man coming back to life after coming into contact with the bones of the prophet Elisha.

    Moving on to the New Testament, we can read of the miraculous healing of the hemorrhaging woman who touched Jesus’ cloak. (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48). And Jesus once used his own spittle mixed with mud to cure a blind man (John 9:1-7).

    In the Acts of the Apostles we see two more examples of God healing people using material things associated with His saints. First, the sick were carried out into the streets and were healed when St. Peter’s shadow fell upon them (Acts 5:15). And sick people were also healed when they touched handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched St. Paul. (Acts 19:11-12)

    So yes, we do have biblical support for the idea that God sometimes uses relics of his Saints to convey His healing power. After all, we still live in the age of miracles!

    April 27, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Susan

      The pope was not a saint, in fact if anything he was a criminal. Using blood is very cult like.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  10. Eric G

    Can someone please explain to me the significance of saving a dead persons blood? As a non believer, I am curious about this practice. Is it something that is historically done within the Catholic religion?

    April 27, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  11. Sealson

    Wow – heavy stuff! What happened to Love your neighbor?

    April 27, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  12. Ed

    @Susan your right,I am truly sorry your ex went through that. I hope they catch the priest that hu rt him and exe cut e him. Ped oph iles are among the most ev il people every to live. I hope one day your ex can find a way to re con cile his pa in for his own sake. The preist should be ex cu m m unic ated and the exe-ecut e slow ly and pa in fully for what he did. The Church definetly scre w ed that problem up they should have handle it much better . They should have de froc ked the priests and turned them over to the la w. It is wor se when its a trus ted person like a priest so their pun ish ment should be wo rse. I am sorry for your ex and what he went through am I am sorry for you for the pa in his pa in cau sed you.

    sorry if a multiple post the moder ation pro gram fla gg ed it the first time

    April 27, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  13. SadieSadie

    I can't seem to be able to comment on the newest article about the role of John Paul in covering up the abuse of children by priests. I an sorry but anyone who actively worked against the safety of the children of God does not deserve saint hood nor do they deserve our good regard.
    He may have done many good things in his life but he is also responsible for the pain of many many many people. No one should be above the law but John Paul ensured that these priests were. Disgusting.
    God may forgive you and we should as well but you don't deserve any sort of praise.

    April 27, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Susan

      Sadie, you are absolutely correct.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  14. chief

    the way catholics justify their traditions is as absurd as those to handle snakes and drink poisen ( mark 16 for you keeping score ) ... but at least their insanity is in the bible ( most likely an added passage ) unlike those whos make this crap up

    April 27, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Chief of Stupidity

      Do you have anything substantive to add or are you just stroking yourself? I'm certain it's the latter. Bigot.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Susan

      uh, Chiefodstupidity, good name for you. And speaking of stroking, what do you think those demented priests are doing while you hypocritical catholics are in the confessional confessing your dirty little sins that you feel some pervert can forgive you for?

      April 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • chief

      re susan ... most its shift change at club ped and the chief of stupidity has some rec time.... he is a priest named gerald... yep gerald...

      April 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  15. Susan

    Catholicman, please do NOT pray for me. I'm quite capable of praying to God all on my own and I dont want someone like YOU saying any prayers for me! I pray to God, you pray to saints. As for you being an alter boy...my sympathies to you. That right there shows that you were brought up in a strict catholic family and yes you are brainwashed. My ex was an alter boy as well . He was molested by a priest . He sure hates the catholic church and his mother! He left home at a very young age to escape the abuse brought upon him from YOUR church of pedophiles and the mother who made him go to church. Please dont try to justify what the church does by saying pedophilia is everywhere. In society, child molesting is not only a crime but a moral outrage but in the catholic church is is a dirty little secret that is covered up and the priests and pope conspire to conceal it from the masses. As far as the free will we are all given, first you have to be deprogramed before you can think and use your free will. I feel sorry for you because you cant see past the brainwashing to enable your free will. As for your remarks about my hate, I do hate child molesters, it is not my place to forgive them, thats God's place. When children are molested, especially by a person of trust, ie priests and sent to receive that abuse by a parent who is so blinded by your religion, it not only effects the victim but people for generations to come. It is a pattern of dysfunction and they cycle must be broken!

    April 27, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Catholicman

      You don't know me! I was NOT brought up in a strict Catholic family. We went to Church, yes, but I was not brought up following the "rules" of the Catholic faith. I was not "brainwashed." As for molestation, I was actually molested by my brother as a young child. My parents still don't know about it. I know the guilt, shame and sorrow of being molested by someone you trust. I have forgiven my brother. I went away from the Church for a long time, but through prayer, research and practice, I've come to embrace the mercy, love and generosity of the Church. Please, please, please, don't hate me because I'm a believer in the Church, I don't hate you for your slander to me or the Church. I know you're not seeking my prayers, but you're getting them anyway. I pray to God, and I pray that Mary intercede for my prayer intentions for you.

      April 27, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Ed

      @Susan your right, I am truly sorry your ex went through that. I hope they catch the priest that hu rt him and exe cut e him. Ped oph iles are among the most ev il people every to live. I hope one day your ex can find a way to re con cile his pa in for his own sake. The preist should be ex cu m m unic ated and the exe-ecut ed slow ly and pa in fully for what he did. The Church definetly scre w ed that problem up they should have handle it much better . They should have de froc ked the priests and turned them over to the la w. It is wor se when its a trus ted person like a priest so their pun ish ment should be wo rse. I am sorry for your ex and what he went through am I am sorry for you for the pa in his pa in cau sed you.

      sorry if a multiple post the moder ation pro gram fla gg ed it the first time

      April 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • ced

      Wow ! Your post is so violent against the catholics. Sure, a world without God would be better.See Staline, Hitler and Pol Pot for example.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Susan

      Catholicman, you are right, I dont know you but the fact that you admit to being molested and then re-join a church that condones pedophilia is absolutely disgusting and misguided. I think I should be the one praying for YOU. Lost sheep.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Susan

      oh and one more thing, you deny being brought up a strict catholic, I find that hard to believe, only a devout catholic family would allow their son to be an alter boy

      April 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Susan

      ced, if you are speaking to me I am not violent against catholics, in fact, Im not violent against anyone. Im angry and rightfully so, all decent people should be outraged at what the catholic church has gotton away with. I can only imagine what God must think, the so called holiest of men molesting, raping and abusing his most innocent children and all in the name of God...absolutely horrific, may they rot in hell!

      April 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Ed

      In this case Susan has good reason to be an gry with the church. The priest hu-rt her ex in a way that he will care for the rest of his life. The dam-age done inurn afffect her. The church owes her and her ex an apology they owe the church nothing. while I agree it not fair to blame the whole church for the actions of a few ev-il priests even 1 preist har-ming children is too many. Susan is an indirect vic tim of this harm. Please be understanding we owe her that much.

      Please read what Catholicman wrote again. He was not mole sted by his priest but his brother. its not fair to blame the church for what his brother did.

      @Catholicman I am sorry for what your brother did, you have my admiration I don't think I am a good enough or strong enough person to forgive someone who did that to me. I think you must be a better man than I.

      April 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @ced, as much as Catholics love to deny it, Hitler was one of them. And there have certainly been plenty of ruthless, violent, horrible religious men. And there have been lots of atheists who have been great people and done great things. Einstein would be one. So there's pretty much no correlation from a belief in a higher power to moral acts. See: ongoing scandal in the RCC.

      April 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  16. jimtanker

    Is there a requirement to r@pe a certain number of boys before you attain sainthood?

    April 27, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • HeavenSent

      jimtanker, you can't blame these wayward carnal priests on Christians. We know the following scriptures pertaining to them ...

      Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

      1 Timothy 4:1-3


      April 27, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  17. silvery1261

    Relics are a powerful tool to pull in the faithfull

    April 27, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  18. Catholics are just disgusting

    That is just sick. They sucked his blood out, added unholy anti-coagulants to keep it drinkable, and then want to show it to people.
    Why don't they dig up his rotting corpse and display the remains of his internal organs as well?
    And chop off his dead, shriveled pizzle and wave it at people?
    Why don't they do that stuff too if they think dead body stuff is "holy"?

    April 27, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • chief

      they dont bury these clowns.... i read in that moron Alan Hunts book that in some of these buriel chambers "its a sweet smell and shows how that they are so holy" ... or some other BS like that... just sick...

      April 27, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Where you born stupid...

      ...or is it just a hobby?

      April 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  19. Scott

    Displaying his blood. This is just gruesome and disgusting and shows how out of touch with reality the Catholic church is. It is just platelets, plasma and a few other things. It doesn't have special magic powers because it came from a specific person. Time to come out of the9th century.

    April 27, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  20. theoldadam

    What about what Christ did on the cross?

    Do we need to add our good works to that in order for that death to be effective for us?

    I say, NO. Christ is enough.

    April 27, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • gerald

      So Matt 25 and Rom 2:4-8 don't mean much for you I guess.

      April 27, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • chief

      what you have to realize by comments like that of gerlad ( the priest ) ... the catholic organization is built upon doing.... its just like kids in karate or boy or girls scouts.... keep doing it, get another belt or badge, the more you do it, the more they entrench you into the dogma of it all

      April 27, 2011 at 11:17 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.