Sunday, February 6, 2011

Relics of John Paul II

The Vatican has confirmed that the organ donor card signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in the 1970s - long before he became Pope Benedict - is now invalid. After a pope dies, his body belongs to the entire church and must be buried intact. If he were to be made a saint, those organs would be relics, which would be awkward if they were located in other bodies, living or dead.

The Venerable Pope John Paul II (1920-2005), born Karol Józef Wojtyła, passed the first hurdle of sainthood when it was announced this month that he will be beatified in May 2011. Pope John Paul II died on April 2nd, 2005, of septic shock and cardiocirculatory collapse. was funeralized on April 8th (scroll down here for photo of his lovely cypress casket), and was interred in the grottoes under St. Peter's Basilica. Since his beatification, the Pope's remains have been moved into the main body of the basilica (photo and webcam here). In September 2007, the Vicariate of Rome began offering pieces of a cassock worn by the Pope as holy relics in exchange for donations. Recently, it was announced that a vial of his blood drawn for medical tests shortly before his death was retained by Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, and will be encased in crystal and built into the altar of a Polish church that is opening in May of this year. But, as my friend Sue asks, what of the bone that was removed during his 1994 hip replacement?

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.