A cloth with a drop of blood from the late Pope John Paul II has been stolen from a German cathedral.
German authorities said Sunday the cloth, which had been in a glass case, was missing from the Cologne cathedral, The Associated Press reports. A visitor noticed it was missing, and now the Cathedral leadership is asking for it to be returned.
“Although the material value is low, the spiritual value is a lot bigger,” the cathedral’s provost Gerd Bachner said in a statement.
Stealing Catholic relics is not a new phenomenon. Police in Italy recovered a blood-stained cloth in 2014 after thieves stole it from a church in San Pietro della Ienca. The cloth came from the cassock the pope was wearing during his 1981 assassination attempt and was only barely damaged by the thieves.
News of the newest theft comes the same day Pope Francis canonized two saints: Elizabeth Hesselblad and Stanislaus Papczynski. Hesselblad helped save the lives of a dozen Jews by hiding them during World War II before becoming a nun. Papczynski founded the order of the Marian Fathers.
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