A relic containing a piece of cloth with a drop of blood from the late Pope Saint John Paul II has been stolen from Germany's Cologne Cathedral, police said on Sunday.
The relic of the pope, who died on April 2, 2005, was contained in a glass capsule in a reliquary, a container for holy relics.
The capsule had been removed some time between Saturday and Sunday morning from the display holder that was screwed to the wall of the cathedral, police said.
"The material value is very slight, but the non-material loss is much greater," Provost Gerd Bachner said as he appealed to the thieves to return the relic.
Relics are body parts or personal belongings from a saint that are venerated by believers in the Catholic faith. John Paul II was declared a saint by Pope Francis in April 2014.
The reliquary was made by sculptor Bert Gerresheim and featured an image of John Paul leaning on a long-staffed crucifix in front of the main door to Cologne Cathedral, a reminder of the pope's visit there in 1980.