The Rome Archdiocese is promoting the cause of Pope John Paul II. Among other things you do at this site is to request a “relic” holy card by email. You can also submit prayer requests. You can also subscribe to the magazine Totus Tuus that details the cause, (somehow I did this early on and continue to receive it).
A number of stories on this today out there, among them this one from The Independent:
As the beatification of Pope John Paul II grows closer, fragments of the white cassocks he wore when alive are being offered as relics over the internet.
On the Diocese of Rome website dedicated to the campaign to canonise the late pope, the diocese offers santini, a prayer card with a photograph of John Paul and a window containing a tiny fragment of his clothing. On the back is a prayer “imploring grace by the intercession of God’s servant John Paul II.” The prayer is available in many different languages. Stefano Chiodo, who runs the site, said “thousands and thousands” of the relics have already been dispatched.
The site stresses that the cards are completely free – though a contribution is solicited (the amount is not specified) from “whoever can afford it” to cover the cost of postage and packing. In the past, the sale of relics was a common and efficient way for popes to raise funds, but today it is frowned on.
“Relics (of any sort) may absolutely be neither sold nor purchased,” declares Monsignor Marco Frisinia, in charge of the Liturginal Office of the Vicariate of Rome, “because, being a sacred object, it is beyond price. The problem of the sale of relics over the internet is very common, and allow me to say that it is a sacrilege.”
The website also says the relic can only be used “in a private manner, in the silence of our hearts, until the day the Church declares him a saint”.