Blood taken from Pope John Paul II in his final days will be put on display for his beatification ceremony this Sunday, May 1st.
Pope John Paul II, whose papacy lasted 27 years, died on 2 April 2005 after battling Parkinson's disease. It was at the famous funeral that shouts erupted calling for 'Sainthood Immediately' ('Santo Subito'), that Pope Benedict XVI approved the beautification needed for the next step toward sainthood and set a 2011 date.
With over 2 million pilgrims expected at Rome including 50 heads of state, it's a much needed morale boost for the shame brought over the Catholic Church from the clerical abuse scandal, even though it was during Pope John Paul's legacy when many of these crimes and cover-ups were committed.
Four vials of blood were taken from Pope John Paul II during a transfusion and treated with an anticoagulant substance to prevent the blood from clotting, and so keeping its liquid form. It is reported by the BBC that these vials of blood are classified as relics of the first degree, Cardinal Dziwisz told AFP.
One of these vials of blood will be on display for the beautification of Pope John Paul II, and after will be kept with the other relics in the Vatican. In order for the beautification step to Sainthood, a miracle by said Pope must have been witnessed and confirmed. Pope John Paul II is believed to have cured a French nun. Additionally, he is credited in Poland and the rest of the world with helping Communist rule to end in Europe.
It takes more than a miracle to be canonized a Saint in the Catholic Church however, it in fact takes two miracles.