Postcard from... Rome


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The Independent Online


A phial of Pope’s blood now goes for tens of thousands of euros on the black (magic) market, in case you were wondering. That’s the value La Repubblica has put on the holy liquid after claims that devil worshippers stole a jar of Pope John Paul II’s blood from a church near the town of L’Aquila. The relic went missing two nights ago on 25 January, which, as everyone knows, was the eve of celebrations related to the demon Valac, described by Goethe as the Great President of Hell.

Giovanni Panunzio, head of a national anti-fraud group, said: “It’s possible that Satanist sects were behind the theft of the relic of John Paul II’s blood.” Mr Panunzio, who’s curiously well informed about such things, added that Satanic rites linked to the Nazi Holocaust and the Satanic new year (1 February) were also probable factors in the theft. Yesterday, 50 police officers were said to be scouring the area near the little church of St Peter in the mountains near L’Aquila.

While most Italians joked about whether the phial contained cow’s blood or ketchup, Pasquale Corriere, of the local Gran Sasso tourist board, insisted the relic had been one of only three phials of the late Polish pontiff’s blood in existence, gathered after his 1981 assassination attempt.