Scots church given vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood

Four vials of Pope John Paul II's blood were drawn in case they were needed for transfusions. Picture: AP

Four vials of Pope John Paul II's blood were drawn in case they were needed for transfusions. Picture: AP

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A SCOTS church hopes to become a centre of devotion after being offered a vial containing the blood of former Pope John Paul II.

St Patrick’s Church in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, plans to hold a special ceremony in October to install the relic.

Cardinal Winning (then Archbishop) greets Pope John Paul II in 1982. Picture: TSPL

Cardinal Winning (then Archbishop) greets Pope John Paul II in 1982. Picture: TSPL

The vial is one of four containing the former Pope’s blood, drawn in case they were needed for transfusion but never used.

After his death in 2005, Archbishop of Krakow Cathedral Stanislaw Dziwisz was given two of the vials.

Father Krzystof Garwolinski of St Patrick’s, then wrote to him, asking whether they could have one of the vials for a short time as he believed it would bring the community closer together and revive the faith.

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St John Paul II was like a father figure to us all and I hope that by bringing his relic to St Patrick’s that the parish can become a centre of devotion to him

Fr Krzystof Garwolinski

He said: “I never personally met St John Paul II, but I took part in pilgrimages when I was younger in both our native Poland and in Rome and co-celebrated mass in 1999 which was a great experience and it was an honour to be in his presence.

“St John Paul II was like a father figure to us all and I hope that by bringing his relic to St Patrick’s that the parish can become a centre of devotion to him.

“I wrote to Archbishop Dziwisz explaining the situation in St Patrick’s with the large Polish community and thought that the relic would be a good way to inspire a revival of the faith.”

St John Paul II was the first Pope to visit Scotland and had a link to St Patrick’s after raising the area’s Thomas Winning to the rank of cardinal.

Fr Garwolinski added: “Obviously we have Scots here as well as Poles and they are very well integrated but I hope the relic being here will bring them closer together.

“The relic will be placed permanently in the Sacred Heart altar on Sunday, October 18, and the church’s opening times will be extended to give people a chance to see it.”

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