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Indian Basilica gets relic containing late pontiff’s blood

Mumbai, 10 September 2013: The Mt. Mary Basilica in Mumbai will now house a relic containing the blood of Pope John Paul II. Presenting the relic for devotion to the Rector of the shrine, Archbishop Salatore Pennacchio said “This relic contains the blood of Pope John Paul II”.

The relic, a special gift from Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, comes ahead of the canonization of the late pontiff.

Archbishop Pennacchio, who led the mass on Sunday morning on the first day of the Mount Mary Fair, ended the ceremony by handing over the relic to basilica representatives.

He also presented a 2 ft. statue of Pope John Paul II, who had visited the basilica 27 years ago.

“As the Pope’s representative in India, I bring to you blessings and greetings of our holy father,” he added.

“Let us pray in a special way for the gift of peace in Syria, the Middle East and every part of the world where there is violence,” he added.

On Saturday night, Pope Francis had led a peace prayer vigil for Syria at the Vatican.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, who was also present for the mass, prayed that the “statue will remind us of the teachings and life of Pope John Paul II.”

Father Aniceto Pereira, vice- rector of the basilica, said the gift came as a surprise and the installation will take a few days.”

Basilica authorities also presented Archbishop Pennacchio with a gift in return – a three dimensional photo of the Basilica.

The Mount Mary Fair, also known as the Bandra Fair, is a series of celebrations to mark the annual Feast of Our Lady of the Mount, or the Feast of the Nativity of Virgin Mary.
Source: UCAN


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