.- This week the relic of Saint Pope John Paul II was stolen from a cathedral in central Italy, while a church in Sicily was also looted and the Eucharist desecrated.
A gold relic with the blood of Saint John Paul II was found missing from the chapel of the Cathedral Basilica of Spoleto on the night of September 23, according to the Italian daily L’Avvenire.
In a Sept. 24 video message, the archbishop of Spoleto said he received the news of the theft with grief.
Archbishop Renato Boccardo asked the perpetrators to “return and return the relics to the cathedral. What I am asking for is an attitude of responsibility and seriousness. ”
The relic was a gift from the archbishop of Kraków to the Archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia in 2016. The archdiocese plans to move the relic to a new church in honor of the Polish saint on October 22. This year the Church commemorates 100th birthday birth of St. John Paul II.
The relic, meanwhile, is displayed in homage in the chapel of the cross, which is closed by a gate.
“This is a serious move,” said Boccardo. “Seriously, of course, because it hurts the feelings and devotion of the many people” who came to the cathedral to ask for the intercession of the saint before his relics.
“Meanwhile, I urge the many devotees of St. John Paul II continues to entrust himself to him, who is a strong intermediary before God, “added Boccardo.
In the early hours of September 22, the Church of Sant’Agata al Collegio in Caltanissetta, Sicily, was also burglarized and robbed. Statues were broken and the tabernacle was opened and the Eucharistic host was thrown to the ground.
Police arrested two men, and are looking for another man and woman, in connection with the crime.
Police intercepted local residents aged 20 and 25 as they left the church at around 02.00 22 September.
According to local reports, police believe the two men entered the 17th-century church through the adjoining library and music school. While searching the men, the police found a gold brooch, a bag of consecrated Eucharistic hosts, a bottle of holy oil, and coins from the library’s vending machine.
Inside the church, the chandelier from the altar was found hidden behind the door and the glass covering the sleeping figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary was crushed and the figure’s arm was broken.
It is the second time Sant’Agata al Collegio Church has been burglarized since August.
At the time of the 23 August break, Fr. Sergio Kalizah, the church pastor, said thieves had “ruined everything” in the church, but thankfully did not touch the tabernacle, La Sicilia reported.
“I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to support us with your prayers,” said the pastor.
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