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. Dr. Bombay

    "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." Really? Is that all it takes to be considered for sainthood?

    May 3, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  2. Graeme Hanigan

    If the Vatican could provide credible evidence of a miracle, I would have no issue. However by committing very human muddled thinking by way of logical fallacies, they demonstrate that their religion is no more than an indulged fantasy and that they are no more than a bunch of sanctimonious buffoons!

    May 2, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  3. Jesus

    Jesus' message in the Bible is so clear and simple. God answers prayers. Ask and you will receive. The message is reiterated over and over again. In Mark 9:23: "All things are possible to him who believes." In Luke 1:37: "For with God nothing will be impossible." Nothing is impossible through prayer.
    However, when you look at the world around you, you find that things are not like that at all. You find yourself surrounded by contradictions:

    God never answers the prayers of amputees. If he did, we would see amputated limbs spontaneously regenerating every day.
    God never moves mountains - if he did, we would see mountains moving around all the time.
    God never answers impossible prayers - if he did, people would be flying through the air like superman on a regular basis.
    God never answers prayers that break the laws of nature - if he did, then scientific equations and computer models would have to take God's random antics into account.
    God never answers prayers that break the laws of probability - if he did, then every believer would be rich and Las Vegas could not exist.
    When two people pray opposite one another, obviously someone's prayer will go unanswered. If a million people pray for the same thing but only one can have it (e.g. – winning the lottery), then by definition 999,999 people will have their prayers unanswered.
    God doesn't answer medical prayers - otherwise the U.S. would not need to spend $2 trillion a year on health care.
    God doesn't answer prayers to avert natural disasters - if he did, hurricanes would not hit the U.S.
    It is easy to see that God does not answer all of these different kinds of prayers. It is obvious through casual observation, but it is also easily proven with statistics. Statistical studies do not show any effects from praying. When people talk about "the power of prayer", what we are actually witnessing is "the power of coincidence."

    May 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  4. Bob H.

    Oh, if only the ignorant would not rise up to defend the Christian faith. Some of these comments are enough to make even the most devout an atheist! Debate is NOT how Jesus gathered followers. He used love, gentleness and absolute concern for the "other." You certainly cannot say that about many of the self-styled defenders of the faith in this debate! So much of the theology of the "Christians" here is so distorted, so unbiblical, so defensive in tone, that's no wonder Christianity is mocked. Defending the Christian faith in the same manner one defends a political position suggests that person had missed the message, and actually gives the Christian story a bruise! God is surely not served well by most of the "Christian" comments on this site! I suggest that if you see a comment that upsets you because it challenges the Christian faith, you go to the sports sections ,and don't write anything here that embarrasses you or Christ!

    (The previous post was sent before proper editing...So sorry!)

    May 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  5. Bob H.

    Oh, if only the ignorant would not rise up to defend the Christian faith. Some of these comments are enough to make even the most devout an atheist! debate is NOT how Jesus gathered followers. He used love, gentleness and absolute concern for the "other." You certainly cannot say that about many of the self-styled defenders of the faith in this debate! So much of the theology of the "Christians" here is so distorted, so unbiblical, so defensive in tone, that's not wonder Christianity is mocked. Defending the Christian faith in the same manner one defends a political position suggest that person had missed the message, and actually gives the Christian story of bruise! God is surely not served well by most of the "Christian" comments on this site! IO suggest that if you see a comment that upsets you because it challenges the Christian faith, you go to the sports sections and don't write anything here that embarrasses you of Christ!

    May 1, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  6. Jack

    I'm pretty sure that a billion people have prayed in the name of JP II for a miracle since his passing – but only one has been cured? That's just sad.

    April 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • gerald

      No, only one cure has been investigated to the level of scrutiny needed for a canonization. There have been many other claims of cures that have not been investigated.

      April 30, 2011 at 4:08 am |
  7. Gem

    It's as simple as this. John Paul II (and the other Canonized Saints of the Church) lived holy lives. They followed God with all that they had and were. As Catholics we look to them as examples for us to follow. I'm never going to be just like them in everyway, but they inspire me to grow in holiness and seek God. It doesn't mean they were perfect. Saints are sinners too. Only Jesus and his Mother Mary never sinned. Saints point me to Jesus. It's like when you admire a painting, you're really honoring the artist. – it's the same thing we Saints, by admiring them you're giving glory to their Artist, God.

    Relics can look weird from the outside if you don't understand them. But think about someone that you love and were close to that has died. Do you maybe have something that belonged to them? A book or a piece of jewelry, or some other item that reminds you of them and makes you feel close to them and their memory. Or maybe you keep a baby curl from one of your children, or the first tooth your child lost, (my mom kept my umbilical cord when if fell off my belly button). That's kind of like what relics are...

    April 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  8. Taro

    The Catholic Church is not wealthy. It has an invaluable collection of art received through donation before the art was a fraction of its current value or received by direct commission from the artist to the Church such as the Sistine Chapel frescoes. If your family's art from a thousand years ago were still in your possession, you would have a similar invaluable collection. Too bad your family didn't think ahead. As for the fabulous income you imagine the church receives in donations, it doesn't lounge around in a bank account. The Catholic Church does more to assist those in poverty than all the governments of the world combined. This is not an exaggeration. The statistics are readily available on the net to compare. Protestants contribute considerably toward a similar effort.

    When Jesus returns (not if), he might be appalled at your remarkable ignorance and hatred of the good works of his followers. Or maybe he will only be appalled at your inability to spell simple words like Catholic. In the meantime, the rest of us must be content to be appalled in his place.

    April 28, 2011 at 5:04 am |
    • Yam

      You are either lying or mis-informed.
      The Catholic Church has a net worth in the trillions of dollars.
      You make it sound like they are all going around in sackcloth and ashes, but the sheer wealth owned by the RCC is astounding. Trillions in real property alone. Vast stores of gold and jewels collected over centuries. Rare art and other treasures. The vast bloated collection of centuries lies in the hands of this criminal organization.
      An organization that has committed every crime known to humanity over the course of its existence. This molestation of the dead is almost as bad as the molestation of children. And to say these dead body parts and dead body fluids are somehow magical is to descend into the very pits of depravity that religions are known for.
      Depraved worship of dead things is inconceivable and extremely abhorrent to me. Filthy things covered with maggots are nothing worth having or looking at. Putting it in a diamond-encrusted display case does not remove the depravity of the act or even the intent of the display.
      Are we going to sacrifice babies next? Because there is no difference between depravity and depravity.
      A white-washed tomb filled with corruption. That is the Catholic Church all over, Taro.
      Pharisees. All of you Catholics are nothing but present-day Pharisees.
      Tradition made holy. Authority over truth. Worshiping ritual and pomp and a myriad of made-up rules of convenience. Hypocrites all.

      April 28, 2011 at 6:38 am |
    • chief

      re tara .... take your condecending spelling comments to the confessional.... you the catholic church is wealthy enough to have OVER 3 BILLION dollars laying around to pay out for out of court settlements of abuse cases which it tries to hide.... BTW, this doenst count the in court settlements....

      April 28, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Artist

      You can't be that ignorant. The catholic Church not wealthy? LOL Please note your dead Pope A Dope:
      "In the handful of instances during the John Paul years in which local bishops tried to formally expel abusers from the priesthood, in a process known as laicization, the Vatican often urged caution – not to excuse abuse, but to defend the priesthood."
      This is why he is and always will be a P O S. He watched like his god as children were ra p ed. I am thinking he enjoyed it and have to wonder how many children he had for himself.

      April 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  9. mortsmate

    Blood on display? What next, sacrifice a chicken? The Chatholic Church is just white man's Voodoo.
    If Jesus was to return he would be appalled at the oppulance and wealth amassed in his name by the Vatican while there is so much poverty in the world. This also goes for the Protestant faiths.

    April 28, 2011 at 3:15 am |
  10. kenneth

    a true PROPHET lives in a country called Kenya cripples have walked, blind have seen, deaf hear, dump spoken through the name of our lord Jesus and his blood.for GOD loved us so much that he gave us his only son that whoever shall believe in him shall not perish but have internal life

    April 28, 2011 at 3:08 am |
  11. Avsc Bstian


    April 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Avsc, Jesus already gave us the answer ...

      And I will give children [to be] their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

      Isaiah 3:4


      April 28, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Liz

      HeavenSent "the fool does think she is wise", but in your case everyone knows you look it up on the net, then copy and paste.

      April 28, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  12. Amalia Sheran Sharm

    Catholic rituals are disgusting. Did they get this idea from the Temple of Doom?

    April 27, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Taro

      Don't limit yourself to the narrow bigotry of only being disgusted by Catholics. You could hate all Christians by considering that Jesus commanded us to eat his body and drink his blood. Perhaps you mean that Jesus is disgusting? Better yet, you could hate all mankind by considering that most humans, and that likely includes you, eat daily the bloody meat and entrails of animals who share 97% of their DNA with humans. Talk about disgusting rituals!

      Somehow, I knew that self disgust was at the root of your bigotry. Seek help.

      April 28, 2011 at 5:15 am |
    • chief

      re taro..... you may want to read your bible.... Jesus said to eat the bread and drink the wine in rememberance of Him... that whole voodoo crap about it turning into to body and blood really disgusting... and an abomination .... YOU EVER HEAR OF SYMBOLISOM ?

      April 28, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  13. Reality

    The Apostles'/Saints' Creed 2011: (updated based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary.

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


    April 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      John 3:17-18

      For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

      He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


      April 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Liz

      HeavenSent all that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become. You have become one scary delusional person.

      April 28, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  14. crazy

    why jesus or church need or even crave for honor and glory? they are empty shell and how much blood has been spilled for honor and glory in human's history. i will say that without god and all the honor glory stuff, world will be a peacer place to live in.

    April 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  15. Gustav

    This is ridiculous.
    There are other people who died and are attributed miracles like Jose Gregorio Hernandez in Venezuela but yet JP II makes it to almost sainthood because some nun's Parkinson's decease is cured by him?
    This is just another of the Catholic Church's businesses. They never had a pope that was so popular and now they want to add him to their pantheon of celebrities where they can collect more money.
    Talk about witchcraft and now they venerate the blood of this guy? This is preposterous. They still think they are living in the Middle Ages!!

    April 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Taro

      Witchcraft? Where is somebody practicing or even talking about witchraft except you? If you don't like the Catholic Church accepting donations from voluntary donors to help those in need, then don't donate. Nobody tells you what to do with your money. Don't tell me what to do with mine, idiot.

      April 28, 2011 at 4:33 am |
    • chief

      re taro... i totally agree, ITS NOT WITCHCRAFT....... ITS OCCULT type behavior

      April 28, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Monte


      April 30, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  16. j pol

    God Bless You every one.
    Great for JP II, but do not forget THE GLORY only belong to JESUS CHRIST............... Please, let JP II rest in peace. Think in Jesus, JP II will be more happy you give THE HONOR AND GLORY TO JESUS instead to him.

    April 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  17. Ed

    i guess

    April 27, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Artist

      Adelina, speak from the heart just tell me how you feel. I think we can agree that you believe in god/gods and I don't. You will make your posts that think support your positionl. I will offer my humble opinion on your views. Some will be sarcastic or semi-rude. Nothing personal babe.

      April 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Adelina

      Artist, I don't need to support my position. Everything is in the Bible and it's proven. I'm just trying to point how silly and illogical you atheists are by talking to you on your level of understanding. If you were truly humble and honest, you'd have acknowledged you are a sinner and have read the Bible in searching for God's truth, asking Him for help.

      April 27, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Artist, you should listen to believers more than you do non-believers. None of your buddy's or any of that propaganda on the net will save your soul. That's all the blind leading the blind. It may be fun now goofing around with everyone ... but, only Jesus can save your soul. All you need to do is love him, repent by asking Him for forgiveness and sin no more. Simple, yet most folks make it difficult. Don't be left out. Just think. Eternity with Jesus.


      April 27, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  18. Artist

    Ed, I dont think she realizes it has nothing to do with my statement. I think she just wanted to say STFU. lol

    April 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Adelina

      Artist, what I meant is, you are doubting the saints who are truly good because of Jesus beyond your imaginations. False accusers will be ashamed on Judgment Day along with other kind of villains. So, watch out your own life before your Creator God. The Bible has been telling us all along. God will punish every hypocrite and lier, but it's only your loss if you regard good ones as bad. Don't worship American cri tical thinking.

      April 27, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
  19. Artist


    i wonder how many catholic saints were actually pedophiles?

    Hey, its a legitimate question......


    Considering the cover up I am guessing the number is much higher than what is being given out. When you consider the odds and percentages, there were some rap ist saints.

    April 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Mel

      I wonder how many Americans are mass murderers?

      Hey, it's a legitimate question......

      April 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Ed

      I don't know how many were but 1 is too many

      April 27, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Adelina

      Artist, the Judgment Day will reveal everything about everyone. Worry about your own life. Christians who fear God has true transparancy.

      April 27, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Ed

      adelina what's that got to do with artist comment

      April 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Orlando

      I do agree with Adeline, only God knows everyone's heart, yes! Indeed there has been lots of issues with pedophile priests they should be judged by the justice system accordingly but God will call them into account and that I guarantee you will be even worse...God Bless everyone here...!

      April 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      God is in control, he had His Holy Men scribe Deuteronomy 23:17


      April 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Agree, Artist

      How is it possible that people who are ordering the cover-ups of such crimes against kids can become saints? If you.like Adelina, think the Judgement Day is the answer for all horrible things done in the world, why do we need laws? Just let everybody do whatever he/she wants (be it good, be it bad), as he/she will be answering to them all on the Judgement Day.

      May 2, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  20. Kevin Weslyn

    How one gets to 'apostolic succession' from the supposed quotation referring to Peter is an example of the miraculous. Interpreting Jesus' words as establishing an unbroken line of authoritarian leaders is at least an enormous leap.
    We could go into the question of how certain words, phrases, sentences and passages have been chosen to conform to particular ideas and how other parts have either been rejected or explained away, most famously the injunction against calling any man on Earth 'father'. That would, however, be very, very long and Roman Church lawyers have prepared their arguments over the space of a thousand years or more.
    The major problem with this system is that it has assured that politics, both internal and external, would be introduced into Christianity. That has brought with it all the power problems that men so regularly fall into. It has reduced the possibility of wonderful individual union with the universe into the recitation of meaningless misinterpretation and limitation of personal revelation.
    There are interpretations of Jesus life and the meanings of his words that are much more wonderful than what some churches insist are the only ones. They call any dissent 'heresy' and 'sin'. They have a list of sins that are 'mortal'. Jesus said any sin can be forgiven (with the exception of blasphemy against the holy spirit(?)).
    Not being a member of any group in a religious sense, my respect is for the philosophical simplicity and sophistication of Jesus. The words that can be accurately attributed to him have a clarity and transcendence that are constructive to the human experience, in the same fashion as Lao Tzu or Buddha. Giant organizations have not helped, and have in fact obscured and distorted this for people who may be of simple intelligence but who would be totally capable of understanding.

    April 27, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Monte

      The apostles never slaughtered anyone, the church? They, their leaders and their followers share in the guilt for hundreds of millions of deaths of innocent men, women and children.

      April 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
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