A holy relic containing the blood of Pope John Paul II has been stolen from a chapel in Italy. A massive manhunt is underway after the rare ampoule was snatched from a medieval sanctuary dedicated to the late Pope in the Abruzzo mountains.

Police are investigating the possibility that a Satanist sect could be involved, as the theft coincided with an important date in the Satanist calendar.

Assassination attempt: The ampule contains a piece of blood-soaked cloth that dates back to the 1981 assassination attempt on John Paul II on May 13 1981, in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City

Assassination attempt: The ampule contains a piece of blood-soaked cloth that dates back to the 1981 assassination attempt on John Paul II on May 13 1981, in St. Peter?s Square in Vatican City

Venerated since medieval times for their healing powers, religious relics still have the power to draw crowds. A selection of artefacts associated with John Paul II is touring Europe, as the Vatican prepares to officially declare the former Pope a saint in April.

The ampule containing a piece of blood-soaked cloth, dating back to the 1981 assassination attempt on John Paul, was bestowed on the tiny sanctuary of Pietro della Ienca, on the mountain peak of Gran Sasso, where the pontiff used to take skiing holidays.

Thieves sawed through iron bars on the window, officials said, and took the ampoule alongside a crucifix. There was no CCTV or alarm in the chapel.

Close call: The Pope was shot and critically wounded when Mehmet Ali Agca (his gun is circled) shsot him four times while he was entering the square

Close call: The Pope was shot and critically wounded when Mehmet Ali Agca (his gun is circled) shsot him four times while he was entering the square.

Source DAILY MAIL

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