By Roy Lagarde
May 17, 2018
Setting a tradition of promoting the veneration of saints, the Manila Cathedral will have the blood relic of Saint John Paul II exposed again for public veneration.
This time, it will be held for three days starting on May 18, the saint’s birthday, until Pentecost Sunday, May 20, from 6am to 8pm.
On May 19, public veneration will start after a “Mass for Life” at 8am to be presided by Fr. Joel Jason of the Archdiocesan Ministry for Family and Life.
Fr. Regie Malicdem, the cathedral’s rector, said they they are exposing again the relic because of the many requests from those who failed to come during the first public veneration which drew more than 20,000 people last month.
“We also promised that there will be a frequent public exposition of the blood relic at the cathedral so that many people may be able to venerate,” he said.
He also said that plans are on the way for the relic’s visit to parishes in the Manila archdiocese starting next year to mark the Year of the Youth.
John Paul II, the third longest-serving pontiff in history, was known for his deep love and compassion for the young people.
The relic arrived in Manila in December 2017 as a gift from Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz, John Paul II’s former secretary, to the cathedral as it marks this year the 60th anniversary of its rebuilding after World War II.
“Let us once again come together and receive God’s grace through the intercession of our beloved St. John Paul II,” said Malicdem.
The priest also revealed that the basilica will soon have three first class relics of former popes. Aside from John Paul II’s blood, the cathedral is also keeping a small piece of bone from Pope John XIII.
Malicdem also said that the Vatican has approved their request for a first class relic from Pope Paul VI who will be canonized this October.
“His (Paul VI) body is yet to be exhumed but hopefully we’ll receive the relic before the end of the year,” he added.
The relics, he said, will be placed at the altar during the Rite of Dedication of the cathedral in December this year for the anniversary of its post-war reconstruction.