A trio of thieves on a train stole a backpack containing a vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood from a traveling Catholic priest on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reports. Fortunately, the thugs decided to ditch the stolen goods in the grass near a railway station Marina di Cerveteri. Since the backpack was found in this location, authorities believe the thieves may have gotten off the train in this area.
Of course, the real question is why, exactly, was a Catholic priest traveling on a train with a vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood tucked away in his backpack? According to The Daily Mail, the man was on his way to a sanctuary just north of Rome in order to display the container for admirers. Although the priest was in charge of keeping a close eye on the fluid, he didn’t notice that his backpack was missing until after he exited the train.
The priestly courier explained to police that he believes the thieves purposely distracted him.
“One of the thieves distracted me, telling me I was on the wrong train,” Father Baldini explained to The Telegraph. “I turned round to look, and it was then that his accomplices stole my backpack.”
Once the thieves got their hands on the bag in question, the group got off the train to properly inspect their ill-gotten gains. For whatever reason, the thieves decided to ditch their booty and promptly dumped the backpack in some reeds near a train station. However, police are unsure if the trio intended to return for the bag and its contents at a later date.
Ultimately, all that matters is that Pope John Paul II’s blood, which was collected after the attempt on his life in 1981, is now back in the possession of officials. The thieves, meanwhile, are still believed to be at large.