A gift for Madrid: a capsule of blood of the new Blessed will preside over World Youth Day celebrations
Madrid, August 16, 2011 - The presence of John Paul II is reinforced this World Youth Day in Madrid with a relic that will be present at all its main celebrations. The Archbishop of Krakow and former secretary of the now Blessed JP II, Stanislaw Dziwisz, has given this relic as a gift.
The Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Rouco Varela AntonioMaría, joined by a group of young volunteers, prayed to John Paul II asking him to intercede for those attending WYD which started thanks to his initiative back in 1985.
During all the liturgies of WYD a Evangelario will be used- a sculpture in the shape of an open book, which preserves a relic of Blessed John Paul II: his blood stored in a glass capsul. The right page of this book contains an image of the crucifix that John Paul II used as a staff. Located on the left is the papal coat of arms, under which you can read one of the most famous phrases of the blessed JP II during his papacy: "Be not afraid", in Latin.
At the opening Mass of WYD, the Evangelario will be placed in front of the pulpit from which the readings will be proclaimed to the public.
The blood contained in the capsul was taken from John Paul II during some tests that were performed in the last days of his illness at the Hospital del Niño Jesùs. After his beatification the blood was recovered for this shrine. The relic was donated to the archdiocese of Madrid on August 15, 2011. The sculpture that contains the relic is a work of the Italian artist Carlo Balliana.
Blessed John Paul II is one of the ten patrons of WYD Madrid. In addition, Madrid will be marked by numerous cultural events held in honor of the new blessed JP II and which will flood the streets of the city these next few days.
There are two other relics of John Paul II: one preserved at the Hospital del Niño Jesus at Rome and one in the Office for Papal Liturgical Celebrations.