KRAKOW, Poland (CNA) — A reliquary of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s blood has been placed in the altar of a new church in Krakow named for him.

Krakow is the city where he rose from being a parish priest to archbishop.

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow said in a Mass that the blood recalls the sacrifice John Paul II made in serving Christ when he was shot by a Turkish gunman in 1981.

He also invoked Pope John Paul II’s slogan: “Be not afraid!”

Leading churchmen in attendance at the ceremony included apostolic nuncio Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw, Cardinal Franciszek Marcharski and Cardinal Stanslaw Nagy, according to the John Paul II Institute.

Other attendees included Polish officials from all levels of government. University leaders, students, youth leaders and teachers representing schools named for the late Pope also attended.

Archbishop Migliore said that the relics of saints are particularly important for Christians because they testify that not only the spirit but the body and all worldly life has its share in the holiness of God.