The relics of the Blessed John Paul II donated to the Custody of the Holy Land | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

The relics of the Blessed John Paul II donated to the Custody of the Holy Land

Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, secretary of John Paul II, presented the relics of the Blessed Pope Karol Wojtyła to the Custody of the Holy Land. The reliquary with a piece of fabric soaked in the blood of the Blessed Holy Father was received by Brother Artemio Vítores, Vicar of the Custody. The presentation took place on 22nd April, during the solemn celebration in the sanctuary of the Primacy of Peter in Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee. The Father Vicar offered the Archbishop of Krakow in exchange earth and fragments of rock from the main sanctuaries Pope John Paul II visited in 2000. The relics of the Holy Land will be put on display in the museum dedicated to Blessed Pope Wojtyła which is being set up in Wadowice, the city of his birth.

From 16th to 23rd April, Cardinal Dziwisz led a pilgrimage of thanksgiving for the beatification of John Paul II with more than 600 pilgrims from the archdiocese of Krakow. At the start of the first Holy Mass celebrated in Bethlehem, the Father Custos, Brother Pierbattista Pizzaballa, addressed words of welcome to the pilgrims and thanked the cardinal for being particularly close to the Holy Land. In the text prepared for Vespers with the community of St. Saviour, the Cardinal expressed his esteem for the Franciscans: “In the name of the Polish pilgrims, I thanks the Franciscan fathers for their precious service as Custodians of the Holy Land, or their fidelity and for their witness. We thank you all for your cordial hospitality. May the Lord bless you and protect you. And may the Blessed John Paul II intercede for you!”

The large pilgrimage from the diocese of Krakow was organized by the Holy Land Commissariat in Krakow with the collaboration of the Polish friars in the service of the Custody of the Holy Land.

By Brother Jerzy Kraj ofm
Photos by T. Warczak and Brother Jerzy Kraj ofm