The relic of the Precious Blood of Christ kept in the French abbey of Fécamp has finally been returned by the thieves who stole it last June
Newsroom(26/07/2022 14:05, Gaudium Press) The relic of the Precious Blood was stolen from the abbey of Fécamp, France, on June 2, 2022
In the early hours of June 1 to 2, the reliquary was stolen, a few weeks before the celebration of the Mass of the Precious Blood.
Besides the reliquary, other liturgical objects were also stolen. Because of the importance of the relic and the artistic qualities of the reliquary, the police specialized in trafficking cultural objects were called in.
First contacts with the thieves
Fortunately, the theft of the relic did not last long. In early July 2022, the bandits left the relic at the home of a person who decided to make first contact with the famous arts detective, 52-year-old Dutchman Arthur Brand.
Through an e-mail, the detective was informed that the bandits wanted to return the relic. A few days later, a delivery was deposited in front of the detective’s house, and he was surprised to discover the reliquary and the other stolen objects inside the package.
The authenticity of the reliquary has yet to be confirmed by art experts, but according to Arthur Brand’s opinion, it is very difficult for a copy of a medieval reliquary to have been manufactured in such a short time.
“I recovered the legendary ‘Blood of Jesus’ of Fécamp (‘Précieux Sang’), one of the oldest and holiest reliquaries of the Catholic Church. Said to contain blood drops of Jesus Christ, collected in the Holy Grail from his wounds at the Cross. Stolen on June 2nd 2022 in France. AMEN!” pic.twitter.com/YhgK8RaUaf
– Arthur Brand (art detective) (@brand_arthur) July 12, 2022
Artwork restitution and police investigation
The detective also stated that only 8% of stolen artworks are returned. Which makes this restitution a real event.
In addition, Arthur said that “having the Holy of Holies at home is a kind of ‘curse’. The bandits would never find a buyer, nor would they be able to return the relic directly to the abbey because of the security cameras.
The reliquary is currently in the possession of the Dutch police who have launched an investigation for theft.
Investigators are looking for traces of fingerprints or DNA, although the relic has been touched by the faithful since the 13th century…
After the investigations are over, the Dutch police will return the reliquary to the abbey of Fécamp in France.
The Relic of the Precious Blood
Tradition has it that the relic of the Precious Blood contains a few drops of Jesus Christ’s blood, collected during the crucifixion.
Joseph of Arimathea is believed to have collected a few drops of blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ after he had lowered the body from the Cross.
The reliquary that houses the relic is a small medieval work of art. Made of gold, the reliquary is shaped like an old-style church.
The small urn measures about 30 centimeters and contains two small vials with the drops of blood.
The relic became well known thanks to a 1310 bull of Pope Clement V, granting indulgence to pilgrims who visited the relic’s chapel. (FM)
Compiled by Teresa Joseph