Cops Recover Cloth With Pope John Paul's Blood
It's missing a few threads but otherwise OK
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2014 10:14 AM CST
Pope John Paul II in a 2004 file photo.   (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)

(Newser) – Police in Italy have recovered a valuable but unusual piece of stolen property—a bit of cloth stained with the blood of Pope John Paul II, reports Reuters. It apparently suffered some rough treatment, but a bishop says he was able to piece it back together, save for a few missing threads. Police arrested at least two men (some accounts say three) accused of stealing it from a remote mountain church, but the thieves apparently were more interested in its gold and glass container: The BBC reports that they tossed the cloth away in a garage, and told police where to look for it upon their arrest.

"I think John Paul has forgiven them," says the bishop. "I think we have to do the same." The bloodstained piece of cloth came from the garment that John Paul was wearing during his 1981 assassination attempt. Local media reports say the suspects are young drug addicts who were trying to make a quick buck, not make some grand statement against the church, reports UPI. The container that held the cloth also was recovered, along with a stolen crucifix.