BALANGA CITY: Police on Thursday arrested two boys who stole the relics of St. Pope John Paul II and St. Claire inside the chapel of the Monasterio de Santa Clara here.
The 12-year-old boys took the bone of St. Claire which is encased in a glass cabinet near the altar and the cloth of St. John Paul II. Both relics came from the Vatican.
Police investigating the incident said the boys did not give the reason for stealing the relics, which they also threw away.
One of the boys pointed to his companion as the one who took out the relics inside a glass cabinet.
The boys led their relatives and investigators to two gardens inside the monastery where they allegedly threw out the relics but the search was unsuccessful.
The two boys, who were not identified, were later turned over to the custody of the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
SPO1 Teodolfo Endonilla, Balanga City police investigator, said devotees discovered the missing relics at about 4 p.m. on Monday and reported the matter to Mother Superior Lilian Ibe.
The St. Claire Sisters said the two boys were among the children frequently seen inside the chapel begging for alms.
The nuns called Monghang Clarisa asked the faithful to help look for the sacred relics.
Balanga City police chief Supt. Joshua Alejandro said the police are coordinating with the parents of the two boys to determine the reason behind the stealing and to locate the missing relics as soon as possible.