.- Relics of Blessed John Paul II have arrived in Colombia and will be on display for veneration January 2-22 in the cities of Bogota and Cartago.
The relics consist of a small vile of the late pontiff’s blood which was extracted by medical officials before his death in April of 2005.
“His blood is the symbol of life, life given for God and for others and its presence reminds us of the Christian vocation to spend one’s life loving God and neighbor,” said Father Slawomir Oder, postulator of John Paul II’s cause for canonization and custodian of the relic.
Diana Sofia Giraldo, the president of the committee coordinating the pilgrimage of the relic in Colombia, said its veneration symbolically unites “the blood that has been shed in our country to that of Blessed John Paul II as an offering of spiritual reparation for the victims of violence.”
On Jan. 19, the relic will be venerated at a Marian prayer service in Bogota, where Fr. Oder will speak on the meaning of John Paul II’s suffering. The event will be followed by a Mass at the Cathedral of Bogota celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio to Colombia, Archbishop Aldo Cavali.
The Bishops’ Conference of Colombia said family members of the victims of violence in the country are expected to attend.
On Jan. 21 the relic will be venerated during a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota at the parish of Mary Queen of Heaven. On Jan. 22 the relic will travel to the city of Cartago.