“Relics” of John Paul II for sale
On December 19, in an interview given to Totus Tuus, Mgr. Marco Frisina, director of the Liturgical Office of the Vicariate of Rome, gave his reaction to the sale of the “relics” of John Paul II. “It is absolutely impossible to sell or buy relics of any kind because they are sacred and therefore priceless,” the prelate declared to the monthly publication dedicated to the cause of the beatification and canonization of John Paul II, edited by the diocese of Rome. “The problem of the sale of relics is widespread on the internet and I would like to remind you that this is a sacrilege,” he added.
On November 8, the news agency I.MEDIA noted that “relics” of John Paul II, who died in April 2005, were being offered for sale in some religious souvenir shops on the Vatican’s doorstep. These medals, containing a minute scrap of material which had been rubbed against the tomb of the Polish Pope, had received no authorization from the postulator of the cause of beatification and canonization of Karol Wojtyla.
Main railway station of Rome becomes John Paul II Station
On December 23, the main railway station of Rome-Termini was renamed John Paul II Station. During an official ceremony, which brought together cardinals Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of State of the Holy See, and Camillo Ruini, vicar of Rome, as well as the Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni, two pillars – around 12 meters high – in memory of the Polish pope, were inaugurated in the station’s concourse. Rome Station, with an area of 225,000 square meters, is the largest in Europe. It welcomes 480,000 travelers daily, that is 150 million every year. For the occasion of the Jubilee year 2000, the station was entirely modernized, at a total cost of 119 million euros.