20K devotees attend masses, venerate St. John Paul II relic

MANILA Some 20,000 faithful attended the Eucharistic celebrations at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila over the weekend, where the public veneration of the first-class relic of St. John Paul II was held.

Fr. Reginald Malicdem, rector of the Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, said devotees flocked to the Cathedral to attend Masses and to venerate the blood relic of the saint pope.

For two days, since the start of the Mass until last night, 20,000 attendees. Sunday Masses, we held five Masses, the church is full. Let's say 2,000 per Mass, not included those who went to the cathedral to venerate, he said.

The Catholic priest said that the veneration was orderly as there were no untoward incidents reported.

The veneration was orderly, people are queuing. After the Mass, they fall in line, we appeal to them to please be patient, the flow of people was fast, Malicdem added.

He said they are planning to conduct another public veneration next month.

The second public veneration in May, there is no special occasion. We just like to give chance to those who were not able to venerate last weekend, he said.

But if you will note, May 13 is Our Lady of Fatima, the assassination on Pope John Paul II, maybe that weekend, that's our target. We will announce it, Malicdem said.

The public veneration of blood relic of St. John Paul II started last Saturday with a welcome Mass celebrated by the Manila priest. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was the Homilist. The veneration was open to the public until Sunday at 8 p.m.

Aside from the Manila Cathedral, there are other six vials of the liquid blood enshrined in different churches around the world: St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican; the Bamboo Gesu Children's Hospital; a pilgrim relic that belongs to the Postulator of the Cause of the Pope; the John Paul II Center in Krakow, Poland; the National Shrine and Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.; and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Cherash, Malaysia. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency