May 022011

May 1, 2011 Beatification ceremony for John Paul II, highlighting the tapestry that was unveiled

by Anura Guruge

John Paul II Re-Interment, Post Beatification, Goes Against His Will — Again! April 24, 2011 post.

Relics associated with John Paul II (#265) were on display, already being venerated, and even being distributed in some cases well ahead of his May 1, 2011 beatification. Much of these relics appear to have been collected and disseminated by John Paul II’s longtime secretary Dziwisz — already notorious for not burning the pope’s personal papers, following his death, despite explicit written instructions, addressed to Dziwisz, to do so. Dziwisz, rightly, is being subjected to some criticism for introducing these relics since they appear to distract from the gravitas of the pope’s beatification and legacy.

Plus, John Paul II is not a saint as yet. So to have relic veneration at this stage borders on ‘cult practices’ — something frowned upon by the Church. When canonized (which is a given), the pope’s relics will be First- Second- and Third-Class Relics per Catholic notation.

That a reliquary with John Paul II’s blood was put on display during the beatification ceremony, and was even kissed by Pope Benedict XVI (#266), adds further confusion to this whole issue of relic worship. Refer to these New York Times photographs: photo 1 & photo 2. Also see below. [The reliquary, with the glass vial of blood, was carried by the French, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, whose testament that she was cured of Parkinson’s disease after praying to Pope John Paul II was the miracle used for the beatification. Carrying such a reliquary, obviously, was the ultimate test that she had been cured. [Disclosure: my mother had Parkinson’s.]] But, it has also been pointed out that John Paul II was a great worshiper of relics.

Per Catholic convention any body parts [including blood, internal organs, nails, hair] of the pope, once he is canonized, will be treasured First-Class Relics. Anything he wore, used [e.g., rosary, crucifix, pens, books] or even touched is a Second-Class Relic — once he is saint. Any object that comes into physical contact with a Second-Class Relic automatically becomes a Third-Class Relic. So, there will be thousands of relics associated with John Paul II. The Confraternity of Catholic Saints, a Philippines youth organization created in 2003 to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ is already claiming that they possess 12 credible relics including a rosary and a papal seal.

The goal of this post is to try and compile an accurate list of all of the John Paul II relics (for future reference). Any and all help in keeping this list up to date will be greatly appreciated — and I will gladly include your name (or abbreviation) as the contributor, if you so wish.

  1. Remnants from cassocks (many or all provided by Dziwisz). These are ex indumentis (from the clothing) Second-Class relics. The Vicariate of Rome is already supplying these relics (along with a Holy Card), for free, though donations are gladly accepted. You can request a relic by mail, e-mail or fax. Use this e-mail address:
    As I suspected people have already started selling John Paul II relics, in particular cassock remains, on eBay. I found at least one this morning (May 4, 2011).
  2. Blood from the pope (as in the reliquary mentioned above). It appears that Dziwisz, at a minimum, kept two vials of John Paul II’s blood — supposedly taken during his last days (when he was gravely ill) by medical personnel. There are also claims, albeit as yet unverified, that Dziwisz also has blood from the time of the assassination attempt on the pope in 1981. [Reports are now emerging that Dziwisz, way prior to the beatification, was giving out John Paul II relics — such as to a Polish racing driver who was involved in a crash. See this AP article.]
    Some of the blood will also be on display, at a newly constructed altar, at the Sanctuary of Our Lord’s Mercy in Krakow, Poland — John Paul II having associations with that historic city since 1938 (when he was 18) when he started attending the Jagiellonian University.
  3. The main nave of the Basilica at Jasna Góra, Poland

    Bullet-holed, blood stained sash worn by Pope John Paul II on Wednesday, May 13, 1981, when Mehmet Ali Ağca fired 4 shots into the pope in St. Peter’s Square, on display at Jasna Góra Monastery, in Częstochowa, Poland’s most famous shrine to the Virgin Mary. Again, a ghoulish memento collected by Dziwisz — who, one has to grudgingly admit, really was thinking way ahead.For an AP picture of the sash.

  4. Blood-stained cassock Pope John Paul II was wearing at the time of the 1981 assassination attempt. Yes, Dziwisz kept it and it is expected to go on display in Krakow sometime in the future. The Philippines The Confraternity of Catholic Saints claim that they already have a piece of this cassock.
  5. Rosaries
  6. Papal seals

I will, with luck, add to this list as we go along.

Benedict XVI kissing reliquary containing Bl. John Paul II's blood (from Wikipedia via the President of Poland)

For more pictures of the beatification from the President of Poland click << here >>.

  29 Responses to “Bl. John Paul II Relics, Post May 1, 2011 Beatification”

  1. As an opponent of his canonization I deplore your defeatism on this issue.

  2. (Further…I believe that if he IS canonized,his body parts become FIRST class relics,but they aren’t carving his body up and handing it out,are they?)

  3. I need to update the Class aspect of the relics. THANKS.
    Who knows what Break-the-law did?
    Louis, have you ever made it to Paris … Les Invalides. There is an ‘interesting’ body part of Napolean, cradled in cotton-wool. Who knows.
    I did NOT realize that you were not in favor of his canonization.
    One of my many faults is that I am resigned, realist.
    I was also intrigued by your public admission that you are not ‘religious personally.’ I had kind of worked that out, BUT assumed that you intended to keep that private. Good for YOU for saying it out ‘loud.’ I am proud of you.
    I will update the relic stuff after dinner and movie.

  4. As I have opined many times to my mailing list related to “realism” is our worst enemy…in that case regarding proper rebuilding of the World Trade Center,opposed by officialdom from the start.
    The man who cheapened sainthood still shouldn’t get it…I think sainthood should never be a verdict for one’s contemporaries,only for following generations.
    I think I’ve stated publicly countless places that there has to be an Infinitely First Cause (aka God) or there couldn’t be anything,but there is no credible evidence that the IFC writes books or starts official fan clubs for itself.

  5. Louis,
    Is this THEN an opportunity for the two of us reprobates … start an official fan club for the IFC then write the definitive book?
    I don’t know. Pragmatism does have its values.
    We did drive past Ground Zero last week. Seems rather strange what is happening there.
    Now let me find those missing comments for YOU.
    Thanks. Cheers.
    P.S., No comments have been deleted in weeks … if not months. So there are around.
    THAT IS why I created that … POST COMMENTS HERE … post. Right now I think there are close to 1,800 comments posted against ~240 posts.

  6. “Sainthood should never be a verdict for one’s contemporaries,only for following generations”

    Perhaps I am wrong, but aside from Mother Teresa, has anyone else reached beatification within 10 years of their death? Most Saints, blesseds and venerables do not reach that level until many decades if not a century after. I think of two individuals in particular (but there are so many more) as an example: Blessed Mother Marianne Cope and Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGivney. Mother Marianne is a Blessed from my home diocese of Syracuse. It was 87 years after her death that she was proclaimed blessed by Pope Benedict XVI (coincidentally his first beatification). McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, has been dead over 120 years and is only venerable. Only JPII and Mother Teresa (to my knowledge) have their cause for canonization run by contemporaries. Louis makes a good point but JPII is the exception and not the rule. Most are elevated by the next generation or even farther away in history.

  7. Karol Wojtyła started his study in 1938 at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, so his assotiation with Kraków was before 1958.

    By the way my grandmother died on Parkinson’s disease 4 years ago.

  8. Thank YOU. I will update that. Sorry about your grandmother. You said: ‘died on …’ Did you mean ‘died of’? My understanding was/is that you cannot die of Parkinson’s per se. So I am careful NOT to say my mother died of Parkinson’s — just that she had it and had been afflicted for about 10 years prior when she died. Not sure WHAT she died of. She was 62 and died in her sleep after attending a farewell party at UNESCO (Paris) attended by about 360 people. After 17(/18) years in Paris, during all of which my father had an association with UNESCO, they were supposed to be moving to D.C. in 2 weeks. There are pictures of her at the party. As with the pope she could get about, but was infirm. She hated it. Part of her desire to come to D.C. was that she believed that stem cell research in the US might help her.
    All the best.
    Thank you.

  9. Can anyone (any Catholic person) obtain a free relic from the Vicariate?

  10. Yes, and YOU don’t even have to be Catholic. In theory ANY ONE can request a free relic. I certainly requested one.
    I kind of KNEW this would happen … and I just checked ebay. BINGO.
    I gather that the Vicariate got hundreds of thousands of request just on Sunday — one of them MINE. I got an e-mail saying my request was being processed.
    Knowing how the Church works, I suspect those that sent donations would stand a better a chance — but I could be wrong!
    But go ahead and try.

  11. Chiara Luce Badano was beatified last year and wasn’t born until I was ten.

  12. Wow. I did NOT know this.
    Here is a link.
    Does prove your point. Hhhmmmm.
    What was the miracle credited to her?
    She only donated her corneas? And to think I am donating my WHOLE BODY.
    Louis, this should be another MISSION for you. I will encourage you. Go for it.
    But, if the Dow gets to 14,000 by John Paul II’s blessing … I am going to be torn.

  13. How profoundly sad that someone would sell the relic of this great man. I think that completely violates the message which he promulgated in humility, and that we, as Catholics, should consider wisely the purpose of the relics we may hold, and the message they inspire in us in. I too have just submitted my request for a relic. I do not know if I will ever receive one, but if I do, praise be to God. I have been profoundly impacted not only by JPII’s writings but by his example, even in death.

  14. Gordon,
    I understand your distress.
    But, as a professional cynic, I KNEW that relics will be for sale on ebay … within days. Human nature.
    Gordon, between US, we should be careful how we tread this path …
    Some have already, very vocally, pointed out that the haste in beatifying the pope was to replenish the Vatican coffers! So …
    The Vicariate does make it very clear that they accept donations.
    Lets wait and see IF we get our relics. Not sure how you sent in the request or whether you sent a donation as well.
    Gordon, I am not sure how long you have been visiting here. Earlier in the year there were comments here about Dziwisz requesting … and receiving … large ‘donations’ for arranging private audiences with the pope. If I am not mistaken I think I recall figures like US $50,000 being mentioned — particularly from disgraced, Marcia Maciel, Legion of Christ. Some would contend that this too was selling favors.
    But, I appreciate your sentiments.
    All the best. Cheers.

  15. Chiara Badano could also be the youngest person if alive at the time of beatification or canonization. If alive she would have just been 38 turning 39 when she was beatified. For me beatifying or even canonizing people who lived just 40 or 50 years ago is good. it gives us the inspiration that we can still live morally upright lives even in this modern age.

  16. Dom,I think without historical distance it makes saints too hard to believe in.Too many people are still around who know the person didn’t really have a halo.

    So if an organ donor is canonized,does the organ recipient’s body become a relic of the saint?

  17. Louis,
    As for the organ recipient — one would have to SAY … OF COURSE.
    I have to say I am puzzled by Chiara Badano. I haven’t had time to read much about her. What made her so special?
    Then, Louis, there is the WHOLE ISSUE that we thrashed out earlier this year. Beatifications and canonizations are essentially, cosmetic ex post facto events to pander to humans. Only God can determine saintliness and he doesn’t ask for opinions or proof of miracles and most importantly does NOT BOTHER to notify the pope (his supposed representative on earth) or for that anybody else of his choices. So Louis, in the case of Bl. John Paul II or this young girl, IF they are indeed saintly, the deed is done and settled. They are already up there enjoying harp music. So your concerns about TIME are somewhat irrelevant … right. Basically, humans do not and cannot create saints.
    Over to YOU.
    Thanks. Cheers.

  18. Chiara Badano got onto the fast track thanks to the Focolare movement,of which she became a selfless devotee at an early age.She was not actually named for Focolare founder Chiara Lubitsch,but they corresponded and it was Lubitsch who gave Badano the second name “Luce”.Read about her when you can,she caught my eye when I spotted her dates when her heroic virtues were approved.

    There is too much bias involved in canonizing contemporaries.

  19. Andrew,
    Re. your ‘pre-modern,’ weren’t Christian martyrs, particularly those that died by the sword, e.g., Sixtus II (#24), essentially canonized immediately?
    I know that documentation, if any, will be sketchy (at best) but did it even take a year for martyrs to be venerated as bona fide Saints?
    Did you notice that I used your May 13 ‘notes,’ with gratitude and attribution, today.
    Thanks. All the best.

  20. I have just requested a card/relic by email. Hope I’m not too late !

  21. I don’t think you can ever be too late, though I suspect they are by now inundated with requests. I asked for mine within the first 48 hours — I think. Got it 8 weeks later.
    I then bought a ‘questionable’ relic from ebay, supposedly from a NUN in Los Angles, for $4.75 (inc. shipping). When it came there were TWO — I think they were stuck together. Though she claimed it was Class II it was really a Class III. SUPPOSEDLY the fragment of cloth sent, in a card as per the Vatican relic, was touched to a John Paul II cassock! I think there is a cottage industry in John Paul II relics.
    LOUIS …
    Here is the definition of a Class III relic: ‘Third-Class Relics: Any object that is touched to a first- or second-class relic.’ Could Magee, on the run, be saved and venerated as a Class III relic?

  22. With regards to the Relics, please help me to have 1, Bl. John Paul II inspired me a lot that’s why i entered the seminary, please E-mail me if you can help me to have one, please help me. e-mail me at I am from Philippines. Please help me

  23. I personally can’t help you. But, please send an e-mail or letter to Rome to the address I provided. They should send you a relic. All the best. Thank you.

  24. To return to this topic since it’s active…
    Andrew,I believe saints need to be canonized in times other than those in which they lived.You seem to be all right with sainthood being a cheap thing decided on the snap rather than requiring perspective judging them exceptional.
    Anura,is everyone who ever touched a saint a second-class relic?…what if one touched multiple saints?

  25. Louis,
    I think I had posed that question to YOU, re. Magee. Given that he was touched by multiple popes is he a second-class to the power of THREE relic — and if I touch him do I become a relic too?
    I thought YOU would be the expert.
    I still need to look up palliums and the eating of the sheep. It is in THE BOOK.
    Crazy busy. My pup book came out.
    I saw, on Google, that a bunch of ex-presidents were in NYC to discuss the completion of the WTC ‘replacement.’ Thought of you. You should have been there.
    Thanks. Cheers.
    P.S., Not really sure that this thread is active per se. Yes, I had a comment today, but that doesn’t mean it is active.

  26. Thank You Anura, BUt please if you know how i can have, I owed Bl. John Paul a lot, Please if anyone can help me to acquire

  27. Yes, I have a GREAT idea. He is now Blessed. So pray to him to get you a relic. That would be a good ‘sign’ for you. OK? Yes, but this MIGHT definitely help. In your prayers to him MENTION MY NAME. He will definitely then take notice. So that is THE VERY BEST I can do. All the best. Cheers.

  28. I want relic 2nd class of saint John paul the sencond

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