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Blessed John Paul II relic goes to China

Lock of hair to be housed in cathedral after speedy ratification of application

An image of Blessed John Paul II An image of Blessed John Paul II
  • ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong
  • November 10, 2011
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A small lock of Blessed John Paul II’s hair is expected to arrive in Hong Kong on the weekend as part of celebrations marking the Year of Laity.

Testimonies from those who met the late pontiff will be heard on November 12, followed by a prayer meeting and Mass at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception officiated by Bishop John Tong Hon of Hong Kong.

The lock of hair will be interred in a monstrance, said Vicar General Dominic Chan.

The priest said he was surprised that the Holy See ratified Bishop Tong’s application for the relics in less than two months.

“Maybe because we are a Chinese diocese,” he said.

Blessed John Paul II’s interest in China was well known during his lifetime. He had a keen desire to normalize relations with the China Church.

In a blog post on the beatification of John Paul II on May 1, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun recalled that when the pope received him and Bishop Tong in Rome after their ordination in 1997, the pope repeatedly expressed his desire to visit China.

In 1999, John Paul II nearly got his wish after proposing the Ecclesia in Asia results of the Synod of Asian Bishops to be announced in Hong Kong.

The local government, however, declined on the grounds that the visit would be “inappropriate.”

Pope Paul VI was the only pope to visit the then British colony, in 1970. He celebrated an outdoor Mass for 20,000 people during his three-hour visit.
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