Following a bizarre series of events reminiscent of an occult thriller, dozens of police officers are combing the Italian countryside for a religious relic containing blood from the late Pope John Paul II, which was reported stolen last weekend from a remote mountain church.
According to The Telegraph, police have suggested that a Satanic group may be responsible for stealing the relic, which is described as a gold container containing a scrap of clothing allegedly stained with the Pope's blood after an assassination attempt in 1981. The object was donated to the church in 2011 (six years after John Paul II's death) by Polish cardinal Stanislaw Dzuwisz, and was being held in the Church of St Peter of Ienca, high in the Abruzzo mountains.
Photo: Associated Press/Polizia di Stato
“This period of the year is important in the Satanic calendar and culminates in the Satanic New Year on February first,” says Giovanni Panunzio, coordinator of the occult investigative group Osservatorio Antiplagio. “This sort of sacrilege often takes place at this time of the year.”
Curiously, this is not the first case of papal blood theft: in August 2012, a similar blood relic was stolen from a priest while he was riding a train through Rome, but it was later recovered.