Pope John Paul II Blood-Stained Robe Displayed in Krakow
The city of Krakow, Poland, is displaying the bloodied habiliment worn by the late Pope John Paul II on the day of an attempted assassination at the Vatican, some 34 years ago, AFP reports.
Pope John Paul II, Karol Józef Wojtyła, was the only Polish pontiff thus far. He was badly wounded in the attack launched by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish native, in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981. The motive for the failed homicide was never revealed.
“From the stains you can tell that John Paul II was bleeding heavily,” Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, told Polish media. “In hospital there were moments when physicians had doubts whether he could be saved,” he added.
Dziwisz was the secretary to the pope at the time, and was standing next to him when the attack took place.
The garment—which bears a bullet hole and large blood stains—was kept by the nuns who tended to the pontiff before he was taken to the hospital.
This is not the first blood related item from the late pope to be displayed. Pope John Paul II, who passed away in 2005, was canonized last year. But in 2011, the Vatican held a ceremony on the occasion of his beatification, one step before full sainthood. There, one of the four vials filled with his blood taken before he died was on display, the BBC reported.
Two other vials were given to Dziwisz, who is now a cardinal. “The blood and hair, these are from of the pope’s body, so these are relics of the first degree,” Cardinal Dziwisz told AFP.
John Paul II is credited with helping to end Communist rule in Europe, especially in his native Poland.
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