Blessed Trinity Catholic Church and School was honored last week to be an exhibitor of a relic of Pope John Paul II, who will be canonized next year.
“This past year we’ve been in contact with the postulator of the canonization of Pope John Paul II and we were graced to be able to bring a first-class relic to Blessed Trinity,” said Sister Maria Jose of the Community Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary. “This relic is a drop of his (Pope John Paul II) blood that has been going around the world visiting different countries preparing for his canonization on April 27, 2014.”
Sister Maria Jose explained that there are three types of relics: First-class relics are those that belonged to the body of the saint, such as hair, bones, a tooth or, in this case, blood; second-class relics are objects that the saint wore or used, such as shirts, shoes, pens or glasses; and third-class relics are any religious article such as a rosary or holy card that has touched a first-class relic.
“It was a great miracle because the relic is busy all the time,” said Sister Maria Jose, who serves in the parish and teaches religion. “Whenever it goes back to Rome, it leaves again. The relic is in the Miami area for three weeks and will visit six schools and other parishes.”
Pope John Paul II visited Miami in 1987 and Catholics believe he is visiting again through his blood. The blood is still liquid and encased in a plastic bubble-like protector encased in a replica of the Bible.
“We truly believe that he is present with us and we’re trying to do whatever he would do,” said Sister Maria Jose. “Through his intercession, people are able to come and receive what they most need. We ask people to start praying even before venerating the relic.”
To venerate is to show respect and honor to a saint. Everyone kissed the relic and rubbed it with their Pope John Paul II cards, rosaries and other objects.
“We’re giving out holy cards with a picture of blessed John Paul II so that everyone that comes and venerates the relic and touches it can have a third-class relic,” said Sister Maria Jose. “We encourage people to take the cards to the sick and pray for them.”
After all the students venerated the relic, it was available for parishioners who waited in line outside.
Sister Maria Jose said, “In the life of the church, we have seen that when we have a holy object with us when we pray, it is God’s will, and a miracle occurs. We pray for healing both physically and spiritually.”