Relic with late pope’s blood stolen in Cologne

A cloth with a drop of papal blood has gone missing from the Cologne Cathedral, German police said. A churchgoer noticed the theft and alerted officials, who urged the thieves to return the relic, Deutsche Welle reports.

The perpetrators dislodged a glass container holding the blood of John Paul II from the base of the pope’s statue, police said on Sunday. The theft took place during the previous night.

“Although the material value is low, the spiritual value is a lot bigger,” the cathedral’s provost Gerd Bachner said, according to the police statement.

The theft was first noticed by a visitor who alerted the cathedral usher on Sunday.

The Cologne Cathedral has housed the cloth since 2013, honoring the late pontiff who visited the church in 1980. The relic was placed in the container so believers could touch it.

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