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A vial of Pope John Paul II's blood has been stolen ... by Satanists?

The first part is fact, the second speculation. NBC News reports that the relic was taken on Saturday from the Church of San Pietro della Ienca, which is located in central Italy's Abruzzo region.

Reuters reports the only other item taken from the church was a crucifix, leading police to believe this may have been a commissioned hit — and that the intended use could be something to do with Satanic rituals, noting resale would be highly difficult.

That difficulty may be due in part to its rarity: The Independent reports there are only three known relics containing the late pope's blood in existence; some of his blood was saved after the 1981 attempt on his life.

And it's actually not the first theft involving John Paul II's blood, though the 2012 instance was seemingly less intentional: a priest transporting a relic containing the blood in his backpack had that backpack stolen. It was later found.

Now, some 50 police and sniffer dogs are combing the area (a favorite ski destination of the pope, who liked to quietly pray in the church, reports Reuters) looking for the missing vial. The value of that relic may be rising soon: The late pope will be made a saint in April.