MANILA -- The Manila Cathedral has received a vial of the blood of former Pope and now St. John Paul II from the latter’s former secretary.

In a statement, the Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Intramuros, Manila, which recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of its post-war construction, said it has received a “very precious Christmas gift” on Monday.

“The Manila Cathedral received a very precious Christmas gift today! (Monday). Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz, Pope St. John Paul II’s former secretary and Archbishop-Emeritus of Krakow, gave us a very rare relic “ex sanguine” of the great Pope contained in a vial,” it said.

“It is a great honor for the Manila Cathedral, our Mother Church, to be the custodian of this precious relic, as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the rebuilding of the Post-War Cathedral,” the statement added.

With this, the Cathedral is also looking for a shrine for them to display the relic for the faithful to venerate.

“We hope to find a proper reliquary for it soon so that we could expose it for the veneration of the faithful,” it added.

Pope John Paul II celebrated mass at the Manila Cathedral in 1981.

He was also the Pope who raised the Cathedral, through a Motu Proprio, meaning through his own initiative, to a Minor Basilica.

The former Pope died at the Vatican on April 2, 2005. He was 84.

He was beatified on May 1, 2011 in Saint Peter's Square and was canonized on April 27, 2014. (PNA)