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John Paul II's Blood to Be Holy Relic in Poland

WARSAW, Poland - An official says a vial containing the blood of Pope John Paul II will be installed as a relic in a Polish church soon after his beatification.

Piotr Sionko, the spokesman for the John Paul II Center, says the vial will be built into the altar of a church in Krakow that is opening in May.

Sionko said Monday the idea came from Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the archbishop of Krakow and the longtime friend and secretary of the late Polish pontiff.

Many Catholic Poles are rejoicing over Pope Benedict XVI's announcement last week that he will beatify John Paul on May 1.

Sionko said the blood was drawn for medical tests at Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic shortly before John Paul's death on April 2, 2005, and has been in Dziwisz's care.

Benedict, in the fastest process on record, set May 1 as the date for John Paul's beatification - a key step toward Catholicism's highest honor and a major morale boost for a church reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Benedict declared that a French nun's recovery from Parkinson's disease was the miracle needed for John Paul to be beatified.

CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports that, once beatified, John Paul II will be referred to as "blessed," but it will take Vatican approval of at least one more miracle before he can carry the full saint title.

The May 1 ceremony - which Benedict himself will celebrate - is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to Rome for a precedent-setting Mass: never before has a pope beatified his immediate predecessor.

Though the numbers aren't expected to necessarily reach the 3 million who flocked here for John Paul's funeral, religious tour operators in his native Poland were already making preparations to bus and fly in the faithful to celebrate a man many considered a saint while alive.

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