Prayers for Blessed John Paul II

Published on Oct 21st, 2013 by Austin Keith | 0

Relic of Pope John Paul II on Display at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

The Diocese of St. Augustine’s Cathedral Basilica will host an official relic of Blessed Pope John Paul II on Monday, Nov. 11. The relic contains a vial of blood from the late pontiff who will be canonized by Pope Francis April 27, 2014.

The relic of blood was drawn from Pope John Paul II in the days prior to his death in April 2005, in case a transfusion was necessary. In 2012, the Vatican Press Office announced that the vials had been saved by an administrator at one of Rome’s hospitals because he considered the late pope a holy man. The vials were given to John Paul’s personal secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. Since then, the Holy See’s Office of Liturgical Celebrations has placed the vials in various reliquaries (vessels used to contain and expose relics) for veneration by the faithful.
The relic that the Cathedral will receive for the visitation is encased in a white and gold cloth surrounding the Book of the Gospels.
“This is a special and unique blessing for the Cathedral and the entire Diocese of St. Augustine,” the Cathedral’s rector, Father Thomas Willis, explained. “With Blessed John Paul’s canonization coming at the end of April next year, to be able to have a first-class relic of the Blessed in the Cathedral is a grace-filled moment for us. So many people loved him during his pontificate. Now, they will have an opportunity to have a spiritual closeness to him.”
During the course of the history of the Catholic Church, some relics are said to have brought about miraculous cures. However, as Father Willis said, “the real reason for the veneration of the relics of the saints is so that we can be reminded that the life of the saint can be an inspiration for faithful living in our time.”
“That’s what the saints are for us,” Father Willis continued, “men and women, boys and girls who have lived lives of heroic virtue. Their lives, in turn, inspire us to rise above our human limitations to live the life of Christ who is our ultimate inspiration and the world’s Savior.”
The relic will be welcomed at a special Mass on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Cathedral. Other services that day include the praying of the Angelus (a special devotion usually prayed three times a day at the sound of a bell) and the rosary at noon and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., the rosary will be prayed followed by Mass at 7 p.m. Following each service, the faithful will be given an opportunity to venerate the relic and ask Blessed John Paul II for his intercession.

For more information about this topic, call Father Thomas Willis at (904) 824-2806 or or Kathleen Bagg at (904) 262-1705 and email:

Photo: (top, left) Blessed John Paul II will be declared a saint by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014. The Polish pontiff is pictured here arriving in Miami for the start of his 1987 trip to the United States. (CNS photo by Joe Rinkus, Jr.)

Photo: The relic of Blessed John Paul II that will be on display at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. The blood of the late pontiff is encased in a white and gold cloth surrounding the Book of the Gospels. Photo courtesy of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Photo: (rail) Pope John Paul II waves to well-wishers in St. Peter’s Square in 1978, not long after his election as the 263rd successor to Peter. A quarter-century later, he has become the fourth longest-serving pontiff and one who has had a tremendous impact on the world and church. (CNS file photo by Arturo Mari).