CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 10 November 2018

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Relic of Pope John Paul II arrives in Manila

MANILA (UCAN): “Let those who have special intentions and petitions come in veneration and prayer,” read a statement from Manila Cathedral as the Archdiocese of Manila became custodian of a precious relic of Pope St. John Paul II—a vial of his blood, as of April 7.
 
A Filipino nun based in Poland brought the relic to Manila on 11 December 2017. It is the first ever blood relic of a saint still in liquid form in the Philippines.
 
Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, the late pope’s former secretary, gave the archdiocese the vial as a gift for the 60th anniversary of the post-World War II reconstruction of Manila Cathedral.  
 
“This precious gift ... is truly a source of consolation and help especially for those who are suffering physical illnesses,” the statement said.
 
Father Reggie Malecdem, rector of the cathedral, said it was a “great honour” for the church to be the custodian of the relic.
 
“We did not expect that Cardinal Dziwisz would send us still liquefied blood,” said the priest at a media briefing on April 5.
 
Towards the end of the late pope’s life, doctors drew blood from Pope John Paul in case there was a need for an emergency transfusion.
 
The blood is still in liquid form because of an anti-coagulant substance present in the test tubes at the moment of extraction. 
 
There are only seven vials of liquid blood belonging to the saint enshrined in different churches around the world.
 
“Let us come together as we welcome home the presence of our beloved Pope John Paul II and receive the graces and miracles through his powerful intercession,” Father Malecdem said.
 
Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass at the cathedral during his five-day visit to the Philippines in February 1981.
 
Two months later, he declared the cathedral a minor basilica.
 
In January 1995, he again visited Manila for World Youth Day, which was attended by an estimated four million people.

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