Vatican City, Apr 26, 2011 / 17:02 pm
A vial of blood drawn from John Paul II will serve as a relic during the late pontiff's upcoming beatification Mass in Rome on May 1.
The Vatican announced on April 26 that the relic will to be presented to Pope Benedict XVI and exposed for veneration during the Mass in St. Peter’s Square this coming Sunday. The vial will then be stored in a shrine by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, along with other relics.
Four vials of blood were drawn shortly before John Paul II's death on April 2, 2005 by a personal physician, in case of the need for a transfusion. The Vatican explained in a April 26 statement that the blood in the vials is in a liquid state due to an anticoagulant substance which was present in the tubes at the time of collection.
One vial will remain in the custody of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul at the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome.