A gift from the cardinal

A gift from the cardinal

The wait is over: Cologne Cathedral gets a new blood relic of John Paul II. It is welcomed at a service with Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki as part of the 2017 cathedral pilgrimage – and is well secured.

The new blood relic of Pope John Paul II. (1920-2005) is from 24. The new relic will be accessible in Cologne Cathedral on September 1, as Cathedral Provost Gerd Bachner and Cathedral Dean Robert Kleine announced to journalists in Cologne this Monday. Woelki had the new relic to his 60. Birthday on 18. August 2016 from Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow and donated it to Cologne Cathedral.

The Cologne Cathedral architect Peter Fussenich expressed his express thanks to the Cologne Cardinal for the new relic. "We are pleased about it and are very grateful to Cardinal Woelki that worthy replacement has been created here," Fussenich told our site.

The first relic, also a small cloth with drops of blood of the canonized pope from Poland kept in an ampoule, had been found on 4. Stolen from the cathedral in June 2016. It had been broken out of the display vessel created by Bert Gerresheim, the so-called reliquary. From the perpetrators is still missing any trace.

Place in the northern transept

The location in the cathedral's north transept was redesigned for the new reliquary, explained cathedral master builder Peter Fussenich. It is framed in a circle by three glass panes designed by the Cologne sculptor Matthias Heiermann. On it, in 14 languages, is a quote from the first sermon of the Polish pope: "Have no fear! Open, yes tear the gates wide open for Christ!"

Bachner was "very taken" by the theological thought behind the new work of art. "I mean, our cathedral has become richer," cathedral's landlord says. This is a continuation of a development in which the judge's window, which has been in the cathedral for ten years, or actions such as "Silent Mod" for Gamescom 2016, belong. Cathedral dean Kleine called the redesign of the relic site "a round thing". Also, he said, the statement of the quotation is doubled, as the letters cast their shadow on the cathedral wall.

Special safeguarding

Fussenich expressed his conviction that a renewed theft of the relic is no longer possible. It is important for people to be able to touch them. This makes a special security necessary. Moreover, the cathedral will be protected day and night by security personnel. The relic itself will be specially secured, Fussenich continued. "However, the way the reliquary is secured and monitored is not intended for the public."

According to Cathedral Provost Bachner, it took a "deliberately" long time for the new relic to be installed. "I wanted a period of mourning for the stolen relic," said the theologian. He also said he still hoped for the return of the stolen relic. The cathedral chapter had offered a reward of 1.500 euros suspended for replacement. In August 2016, the police stopped the investigation.

In 2013, Dziwisz had already presented the first relic to then-Cologne Cardinal Joachim Meisner. The Polish archbishop had asked Pope John Paul II. Served as private secretary during the latter's tenure. He was one of the few people present at the Pope's death on 2. April 2005 were present in his chambers.

Cathedral pilgrimage 2017

With the cathedral pilgrimage of 21. until 24. September 2017, since 2006, the cathedral continues the centuries-old pilgrimage tradition, which had died out over a long period of time. "Starting from World Youth Day, this tradition has been revived," said Gerd Bachner, dean of the cathedral. "Invited are people who – like once the Magi – would like to set out on their journey – no matter whether they come from tradition and a sense of home or are on a spiritual quest."

This year's motto for the pilgrimage is "Let all be one" (John 17:21). "Unity sounds like consensus, common ground, agreement: that's what we agree on," says Cathedral Dean Robert Kleine. "Unity and oneness also meet us in our faith. The young Christian community was – according to the Acts of the Apostles – one heart and one soul. And Jesus asks and prays for unity, knowing that it is not so easy to preserve it. is to be restored. But it is and remains Jesus' commission to us – especially in the year of the Reformation commemoration: 'All shall be one'. Let us go on our way. Together. At the cathedral pilgrimage. For unity in faith. For the unity of the church."

Extensive program

Among the highlights of the cathedral pilgrimage this year are a pilgrimage for people with and without dementia, a pilgrimage mass of the International Catholic Communities in the Archdiocese of Cologne and a "Liturgical Night of Youth" with a concluding breakfast in the cathedral parish hall. The detailed program and the opening hours of the pilgrimage through the cathedral are on dreikoenige-koeln.de to find.

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