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Pope John Paul II's blood to go on display for beatification

Four vials of blood were taken by doctors in the former pontiff’s final days.

Two girls look at an image of the late Pope John Paul II in Manila, Philippines.
Two girls look at an image of the late Pope John Paul II in Manila, Philippines.
Image: AP Photo/Aaron Favila

BLOOD TAKEN FROM Pope John Paul II in his final days will be put on display for his beatification ceremony this Sunday.

Doctors took blood samples from him in preparation for a transfusion, and the four vials were subsequently treated with an anti-coagulant and kept in storage, according to the AFP.

Two of the vials are in the possession of the deceased pontiff’s former secretary Cardinal Sanislaw Dziwisz in Poland. Dziwisz said that the blood is considered a first degree relic, the BBC reports.

Pope John Paul II died in 2005 aged 84 after serving almost 27 years as pope and the Vatican has planned a special vigil service this Saturday to prepare for his beatification the following day. Beatification marks a major step towards canonisation (ie being declared a ‘saint’ by the Catholic Church).

WATCH: Vatican marks countdown to Pope John Paul II’s beatification by releasing footage of his first Papal speech >

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