Last Tuesday, John Paul II High School marked the fifth anniversary of the late Pontiff’s death by unveiling the Vatican’s gift – a black ski jacket worn by the leader. The jacket, along with some biographical information, will be on display permanently at the school.

“This is a momentous occasion for our high school, which has always felt a special bond with Pope John Paul II and is so proud to have his spirit as our inspiration,” said Faustin Weber, Headmaster at JPII. “

The gift was received shortly after the school opened in 2002. When the pope passed away in 2005, the school held on to the item, waiting for an appropriate time to display it.

The jacket will become a second-class relic should the pope be canonized a saint. The pope’s beatification, a first step toward sainthood, is expected by many on April 2, the fifth anniversary of his passing.



  1. So when they received it in 2002 they thought “we’d better wait until he’s been dead 5 years before it’s appropriate to display this gift”?

  2. oh dear. This reminds me of a sketch from the old Saturday Night Live show, “The Elvis Coat Show.” It looked a lot like this picture, Elvis’ coat hanging on a rack on a stage, lit by a spotlight, and it was supposed to be a great attraction that people would pay to sit through. Of course, it was ridiculous and funny at the time. oh dear. And me an RC, still, somehow.

  3. Maybe they should check it for DNA. If it is, in fact The Very Jacket Worn By The Blessed J2P2, they may be able to clone him someday.

    Wouldn’t that be special.

  4. If he becomes a saint will a piece of the true cross appear in a pocket?

    Unlikely, Jim, but they should check for peppermints and fluff covered wine gums. They would only be grade 3b relics, but the Irish will still pay to see them.

  5. I know it’s fashionable here to be snarky about the RC church… however, there’s much about this jacket that is simply American celebrity worship – walk into any Hard Rock Cafe and you will find similar “relics” of rock stars. Dresses worn by famous actresses are auctioned off for top dollar. I don’t see any indication that they are venerating this jacket in a spiritual sense, just in an American OMG, JP WORE this – can I TOUCH it?!? sense. OCICBW

  6. Maybe, Renz. Although they certainly seem quite excited about it becoming a b grade relic. And, as I pointed out, there’s always the Irish tourists.

    It should bring the three things most important to Americans all together in one go – religion, celebrity and making money.

  7. The RC church-Royal Crown cola has a church?
    What are the three things most important to the English? The Welsh? The Scots? The French? The Italians? The Chileans?
    Do you have a complete list or are you only interested in the obvious?

  8. who wears a black ski jacket?

    It’s the man who jumps out of helicopters and climbs rooves and stuff “just because the lady loves Milk Tray.”

  9. The English? Probably football, alcohol and the weather. This explains why we are so poor and are lousy lovers yet always know when it is going to rain.

  10. It’s getting worse. First, Paul (A) calls Mimi an old relic and now Ellie is saying that Mimi has been dead for at least 50 years.

    I expect I’ll get the blame.

  11. It’s obviously a fake – the Pope’s jacket would be white, wouldn’t it? (but JP2 didn’t hvae Georg dressing him, so maybe not).

  12. MP is just trying to set you up, Ellie. The bodies of saints are first-class relics, and need not be old, particularly when the saint is alive. The canonization process (as to which Mimi will just have to wait) does not make one a saint; it only declares the status.

    As the song goes:

    “They lived not only in ages past;
    there are hundreds of thousands still.
    The world is bright with the joyous saints
    who love to do Jesus’ will.
    You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
    in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
    they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
    and I mean to be one too.”

    (Or for those on our side of the pond:
    “You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea,
    In church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea”.)

    wv = hopit
    (dance to the music)

  13. What did they do with His Holiness’ underwear? I know the Mormons have “magical” undergarments, so what about the Bishop of Rome?

  14. Paul (A.) and Ellie, what can I say? Many thanks, even if what you say is not true. 🙂

    Paul (A.), what the song says is quite true. Saints are all around us.

  15. I reckon some forward thinking papal servant will have intercepted all of poppa’s used clothes on their way to Oxfam or the garbage bin. If you’re interested in a piece of the old boy I suggest you keep an eye on eBay.

  16. Ellie and Paul (A.), many thanks, my friends, even if what you say is not true. 🙂

    Paul (A.), your song is quite true. Saints walk amongst us, indeed.

    PS: Jonathan, I left a comment earlier which never made it through. If both eventually arrive, and you decide to moderate my commentary through, only one need be posted.