A strange investigation is underway in Rome after a church was robbed Saturday. What did the thieves take? A relic containing a vial of blood from Pope John Paul II.
"The relic was at the church in the Abruzzo section in Italy, where the pope loved to go skiing. Dozens of police officers are on the case. They're using dogs to try to pick up a scent." (Via WNBC)
According to NBC, police believe the theft was probably commissioned because the only thing stolen was the one relic, with several other valuables left behind.
It's one of just three John Paul II relics containing his blood and is considered to be of great religious value. So why steal his blood? Well, this is where things get kind of creepy.
"Police think the people who took it will try to use it for satanic rites instead of trying to sell it." (Via KXAS)
International Business Times cited an Italian watchdog group that said the day the pope's blood was stolen corresponds with the dominium, or ownership, of the demon Valac.
Another theory — International Holocaust Remembrance day is Jan. 27, and the Times says for some, this marks the beginning of rituals in preparation for Satan's birthday Feb. 1. (Via History Channel)
As The Independent points out, in 2012 a relic of Pope John Paul II was stolen as a priest was traveling with it in a backpack.
It contained blood from the late pope that was taken after an assassination attempt in 1981. Police later recovered that relic. (Via ABC)
Pope John Paul II died in 2005. He's set to be declared a saint in April.