Vial of President Reagan’s Dried Blood Up for Auction

One of the most unusual items to be put up for auction will be a vial with the dried blood of President Ronald Reagan. The vial once contained some blood drawn from the president soon after his 1981 assassination attempt, according to the Washington Times.

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The owner of the blood vial, who has not been identified, had to get the approval of various government agencies before he or she could get permission to sell it. Neither the National Archives, nor the Secret Service, nor any other government agency has expressed interest in obtaining the vial.

Guernsey-based PFC Auctions as of the publication of the article, the leading bid is $5,081.

While Reagan was a world historical figure, mainly due to his role in the collapse of the Soviet Union, he is not a saint in any religion nor have any miracles been ascribed to him after his death. Therefore the fact that a vial of his dried blood would be considered to have some value, even as a collector's item, would seem to be strange.

Blood left behind by a number of Roman Catholic saints have had miracles ascribed to them.

A vial of dried blood left behind by Saint Januarius, for example, is said to liquefy during certain ceremonies. According to a site called Unexplained Stuff, there are 190 vials of various saints that appear to exhibit this phenomenon. It is thought that the warm of human touch plus the heat of church candles during these ceremonies may cause the effect.

The veneration of relics such as a blood sample of a saint represents the God given sanctity of that person and anticipates his bodily resurrection in the belief of the Catholic Church. A vial containing the blood of Pope John Paul II is being installed as a relic at a church in Krakow. Pope John Paul II is in the process of becoming a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

Reagan was a member of the Presbyterian Church, which common to most protestant denominations does not recognize the veneration of saints nor relics such as body parts or blood samples. Therefore the vial of his blood is not likely to be the object of veneration or have miracles ascribed to it. Its value is that of an historical oddity, a memento of a president whose administration was of such great consequence.