The Youth Cross and the Blood Relic of St. Pope John Paul II will be at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) until noon today, May 16.
The Blood Relic of St. John Paul II is a vial of the saint’s blood still in liquid form. During the last days of Pope John Paul II, doctors extracted blood from him in case an emergency transfusion was needed. Now, there are only seven vials of the saint’s blood in churches around the world. Meanwhile, the youth cross is the first cross ever made for the Philippine Catholic youth ministry.
Yesterday, the relic was paraded from the University’s Arch of the Centuries to the UST Martyr’s Monument. A solemn mass in honor of St. Pope John Paul II started at 5 p.m. at the Santisimo Rosario Parish with Rev. Fr. Pablo T. Tiong, O.P. as the main celebrant. Former Rector Rev. Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P., PhD, SThD, delivered the homily.
It was during Fr. Dela Rosa’s term as rector of the university when St. Pope John Paul II visited UST to deliver his moving World Youth Day message in 1995, his second visit to the university. He first visited UST in February 1981, when he beatified the first Filipino martyr, Lorenzo Ruiz.
After the mass, the relic was paraded at the University Main Building canopy for public veneration until the 9:15 mass where the relic returned to the parish. The public veneration resumed at 11 pm. A Youth Vocation Festival took place at the Plaza Mayor.
During his homily at the send-off mass last February, Rev. Dr. Conegundo Garganta, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines -Episcopal Commission on Youth (CBCP-ECY), called on the public to visit and pray before the Youth Cross and the relic.
“We encourage all people to receive these important symbols of faith and open their hearts to the Lord,” Garganta said.
There will be a public veneration today until 12 noon and a farewell mass. The relic has been touring the country as part of the activities of the Year of the Youth observance. The relic and the cross arrived at the university yesterday.