Research has found that the blood type in the The Sacred Shroud of Turin, the Sudarium of Oviedo, and the Communion Host of Lanciano is all one and the same. It is that revelation of that blood type, its nature, and its rarity that is significant for those of us who believe that the true Catholic faith is the only path to salvation.
Unique as Expected
Research has found that the blood type in the above three relics is AB, which is known as the "universal receiver" since such a blood type can accept blood from all types. Since this blood type has both the A and B antigens, it can receive A, B, and AB blood as well as type O, hence its "universal" name. Beyond this basic biological characteristic, however, researchers have discovered that the blood type found in the above three relics has unique genetic configurations which may be characterized as "so rare as to be unique" with an expected occurrence of one in 200 billion. None of this should surprise those of us who already believe that these relics have touched our Savior Jesus Christ and therefore represent His corresponding touch to us as well. Just as Our Divine Savior is obviously a unique source of these findings, so too we would expect His blood to be as unique as He is!
Importance of Relics
The Shroud of Turin is obviously the most well known relic believed to be the cloth which covered Our Lord's body at burial. While many scientists have tried to discredit this relic, its unique and ever-revealing nature constantly befuddles suspicions and rings consistent with belief. The Sudarium of Oviedo is believed to be the burial face cloth of Jesus. Finally, the Communion Host of Lanciano is that relic which is believed to have actually changed into the flesh and blood of Christ while a priest, who doubted The Real Presence, was celebrating Mass. It has been preserved since 1713 in separate vessels; the blood in a glass chalice vial below the monstrance containing the Body of Christ in its flesh-like substance still. There is also the liquifying of the blood every year on September 19 in Naples, Italy on the feast of the Bishop and Martyr St. Gennaro. It is interesting to note that same feast is the historical feast of Our Lady of La Salette.
It is most fitting that Our Lord's blood type would be AB since He is truly the Universal Recipient of the weight of our sins, the vessel which took on these sins and their corresponding need for expiation through His ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
Likewise, He opens His arms accepting all who will come to Him in humble trust and a sincere desire for redemption. Who could this most loving Savior ever reject who would sincerely approach Him seeking salvation?
In addition, there is nothing which we could bring to Our Lord of our humanity, of our weakness, and of our suffering which He will not accept if offered as a humble sacrifice for the good of our souls and in reparation for the sins of the world, thus He is surely the Universal Recipient Who accepts our sacrifices thus made!
Those who know about the biology of blood will now argue that while AB may be the "universal recipient", it is by no means the "universal donor" since it contains both the A and B antigens so harmful to those who do not have the corresponding antigens. In other words, those with type A blood would be harmed by the B antigen in AB, those with type B blood would be harmed by the A antigen in AB, and those with type O blood would be harmed by both the A and B antigens in type AB. What then, can be symbolically derived from this apparent limitation in our symbolism and correlation between the nature of blood types and the role of Christ in our salvation?
One solution might be to argue that Christ received our sins through His human suffering and sacrifice and donates subsequent redemption and salvation through that suffering and sacrifice to those who humbly trust and seek it. Unlike the human character of type AB blood which makes it incompatible for universal donation, this donation is based on the Sacred and Divine character of Christ's blood which, although type AB in human terms, acts more like type O in Divine terms thus becoming the universal donor that offers redemption and salvation to all who seek it in thought, word, and action.
As we would expect, Christ's unique blood has both human and Divine characteristics. The human nature of that blood is represented by its role as universal recipient which is able to absorb all the sins of the world. The Divine nature of that blood, however, is shown by its transcendence beyond mere human, physical limits to become, unlike its human AB counterpart, a universal donor as well.
Thus, we have a blood which absorbs all of our sins like a sponge and graces us with redemption and salvation in return as long as we seek those things. All of this is actualized on Good Friday and confirmed three days later. In truth, one cannot properly consider Our Lord's blood without considering both its human and Divine nature. Therefore, one must consider both that blood's ability as universal recipient as illustrated by its physical, human component and its ability as universal donor as illustrated by its Divine component. We know that the second component is Divine both by the truths of our faith and its ability to transcend our mere human understanding of blood and its types. Just as the Divine does not conform to mere human limits, so too Christ's AB blood type does not conform, in its Divine nature, to mere biological limits of the nature of blood!
There is no coincidence with God Almighty, and this includes the blood type found in The Shroud of Turin, The Sudarium of Oviedo, and the Miracle of Lanciano.
That these three significant relics all contain blood type AB must carry a meaning far beyond the mere biology of such a finding. Researchers have concluded that this blood contains a unique genetic configuration and is likely the rarest blood sample found or likely to be found. These conclusions should not be a surprise to those who believe that Christ is The Only Son of God who came to this earth to suffer and die for our redemption and salvation. We may theorize that this blood has both a human and Divine universality consistent with the universal redemption and salvation offered by Our Savior to those who humbly trust and approach Him within the context of our true faith. These samples are a preserved touch upon eternity for those who see themselves as pilgrims on a journey toward their ultimate home. We should be humbled that The Almighty has deemed us, His unworthy creatures, worthy enough to even gaze upon these relics and their sample of the Divine Blood which has been spilled to wash away our sins!