The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy has obtained a small cloth soaked in Pope John Paul II’s blood — the only church in the United States to have such a relic and one of three globally, including the Vatican.

Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, the Marians’ provincial superior, made the announcement after Sunday Mass, on the eve of the first anniversary of John Paul’s beatification in Rome on May 1, 2011. The cloth is about a half-inch square.

Eventually, Chwalek plans to permanently display the cloth in the shrine, once a marble case where it will be placed is complete.

“We are so pleased about this recent gift, and cannot wait to to share with all who wish to view it,” Chwalek said.

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Editor’s note for those who can’t seem to understand the significance of relics: “And Eliseus (the Prophet Elisha) died, and they buried him. And the rovers from Moab came into the land the same year. And some that were burying a man, saw the rovers, and cast the body into the sepulchre of Eliseus. And when it had touched the bones of Eliseus, the man came to life and stood upon his feet.” (2 Kings 13:20-21)

285,000 Moscovites que up in the cold to view the Precious Sash of “Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos”

Reliquary of the Precious Sash

Such is the excitement and fuss the Cincture of the Virgin Mary has generated on its first trip out of Greece in 200 years. The faithful believe it clung to the waist of the Virgin Mary and thousands have flocked to Moscow to see it on its grand tour.

According to tradition Mary was buried wearing the belt but disappeared thereafter. She then reappeared to the apostle Thomas, who had missed the funeral, and she gave him her camel hair belt.

It then traveled to Constantinople, years later, where the Empress Zoe, wife of the Emperor Leo VI embroidered it with gold thread and divided it into three sections.

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Voices from Russia (with photos)

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Washington Post Slide Show

Editor’s note: It seems as though “Doubting Thomas” was always in need of some additional “proof”. And he always got it! Meanwhile, back in the good old USA, millions jostle for position at various “Black Friday” sales venues.

Catholics praying to St. Anthony for the return of his own relic.

LOS ANGELES — A 780-year-old religious relic of the patron saint of lost causes and missing objects was stolen from a Catholic church on Monday, just hours after it was put on display to commemorate the feast of St. Anthony, police said.

The relic, which is only brought out on special occasions, was stolen from inside a cabinet beside the altar at the St. Anthony Catholic Church in Long Beach on Monday morning, police Lt. Paul Arcala said.

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Father Z: If you sell a sacred thing which was blessed with a constitutive blessing, it loses its blessing and must be reblessed or reconsecrated.

Selling blessed objects is not necessarily a sin.  There are various decent reasons why one would sell a blessed object.  There are bad reasons as well.  Some things, such as statues or things of various age or artistic merit will have great monetary value.   Other things have a particular rareness or association which makes them valuable, even though they in themselves are not much to look at.

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Vial of blood to serve as relic for John Paul II beatification

Vatican City, Apr 26, 2011 / 07:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A vial of blood drawn from John Paul II will serve as a relic during the late pontiff’s upcoming beatification Mass in Rome on May 1.

The Vatican announced on April 26 that the relic will to be presented to Pope Benedict XVI and exposed for veneration during the Mass in St. Peter’s Square this coming Sunday. The vial will then be stored in a shrine by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, along with other relics.

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Relic of St. Mary Magdalene on tour

“‘You’re in the presence of a saint,’” Tim Hooke told his students who were seated quietly in the sanctuary at Holy Rosary Church as they waited their turn to take a close look at a relic of St. Mary Magdalene,” reported The Catholic Voice, the newspaper of the Diocese of Oakland. “‘And not just a saint,’ he added, ‘but a friend of Jesus.’” The relic was on display at Holy Rosary Church on Feb. 15.

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Editor’s note: While not much is known for sure about St. Mary Magdalene, the best evidence I’ve seen indicates that, in addition to being a disciple of Jesus Christ, she may well have been a close relative … perhaps even Jesus’ aunt … and quite possibly the wife of Joseph of Arimathea.

Relic of cross stolen from cathedral in Boston

“We are deeply troubled that this sacred relic was stolen, and we pray for those responsible,’’ the Rev. Kevin J. O’Leary, rector of the cathedral, said yesterday. “We ask the faithful of the Archdiocese of Boston to join the cathedral’s parishioners in praying every day for its return.’’

The relic disappeared sometime between 10 a.m. on June 30 and 8 a.m. on July 1, according to a police report. The theft was re ported Sunday by The Lady in the Pew, a blog written by Kelly Thatcher, who describes herself as “a Roman Catholic lady who loves being a Roman Catholic lady.’’ The theft was confirmed to the Globe yesterday by the Archdiocese of Boston.

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