The County You Live, Work And Play
Church Takes Delivery Of Pope's Blood
A Lanarkshire church has become the first in the country to receive a piece of cloth dipped in the blood of Pope John Paul II.
St Patrick's Church in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, is now a centre for Catholic devotion after receiving the relic from the late pope's former secretary.
A ceremony was held where the relic, measuring two millimetres square, was permanently installed.
Born Karol Wojtyla in Poland, John Paul II began his papacy in 1978 and served until his death in 2005.
Samples of his blood were drawn in case a transfusion was needed, but after his death they were passed on to his former secretary, the Archbishop of Krakow.
Father Krzysztof Garwolinski of St Patrick's wrote to him and asked for a sample as he hoped it would bring his church's community closer together.
He flew to Krakov to receive the holy liquid which was dabbed onto a piece of cloth.
He said: "John Paul II is such a significant person for both the Polish and Scottish communities so I hope we can bring the communities together. I hope that we can become a centre of devotion for John Paul II for the whole of Scotland. In the hospital in Italy they kept some of his blood just in case he needed a transfusion. When he died they didn't need it in stock so it was taken from the hospital and now it is used as a relic."
Trainee priest Mark O'Donnell, 26, said: "It's absolutely wonderful for everyone who lived through Pope John Paull II's name."