File - The bloodstained undershirt worn by Pope John Paul II during the assassination attempt on May, 13, 1981, in Rome, is seen Thursday, April 10, 2014.(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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Two millennia after the first Christian martyrs' blood stained Rome, the temptation of, and fascination with, religious relics endures. And the canonization of two well-loved popes, John Paul II and John XXIII, Sunday is feeding a seemingly endless appetite for fresh relics.Here is a look at relics through the ages.The series of wars, waged by European Christians to regain the Holy Land from Muslims, saw Crusaders bring back "hundreds and hundreds" of relics from Jerusalem and Constantinople.During the Middle Ages, in particular, whole towns lived off the pilgrim business – and relics helped to reel them in.In 1991, the so-called "sacred chin" of St. Anthony of Padua was stolen from the northern Italian city's basilica by four masked bandits, who threatened worshippers as they made off with the relic.
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