WARSAW, POLAND – Injured Polish race car driver Robert Kubica was to receive a reliquary containing a drop of blood from the late Pope John Paul II in an effort that Church officials hope will hasten the 26-year-old Formula One rising star’s recovery from a serious crash.

Kubica also will receive a strip of fabric from one of the late pope’s liturgical robes, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz told Warsaw’s TVN24 news.

“John Paul II was a sportsman himself, he loved sport as a young man,” said the cardinal, who was secretary to the Polish pope.

Kubica was competing in a road rally in Liguria, Italy, Feb 6, when he lost control of his vehicle at high speed on a curve and crashed into a guardrail. He sustained multiple fractures and his right hand was partially severed, according to police.

Co-driver Jakub Gerber, a passenger in the vehicle, was uninjured.

Kubica remained hospitalised under intensive care Feb 14 near the northwest Italy coastal town of Genoa. Doctors performed seven hours of surgery in an attempt to save the driver’s right hand. He also underwent other surgeries to repair broken bones in his arm, shoulder and foot.

Renault, for whom Kubica drives, said in a statement Feb 14 on the company website that the driver’s condition “remains positive”. - CNS

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