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Thieves steal the blood of late Pope John Paul from Italy church

Published on Jan 27, 2014 7:25 PM

ROME (REUTERS) - Thieves broke into a small church in the mountains east of Rome over the weekend and stole a reliquary with the blood of the late Pope John Paul II, a custodian said on Monday.

Franca Corrieri said she discovered a broken window early on Sunday morning and called the police. When they entered the small stone church, they found the gold reliquary and a crucifix missing.

Pope John Paul, who died in 2005, loved the mountains in the Abruzzo region east of Rome. He would sometimes slip away from the Vatican secretly to hike or ski there and pray in the church.

Polish-born John Paul, who reigned for 27 years, is due to be made a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in May, meaning the relic will become more noteworthy and valuable.

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