Relics of a former pope are on their way to the Chicago area.

A lock of hair, a rosary and also some blood from Saint John Paul II will be at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines on Wednesday.

The occasion is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of Fatima, when three children reported seeing a vision of a woman whom they believed to be the Virgin Mary. John Paul II had long maintained that the Lady of Fatima had saved his life when he was shot in a 1982 assassination attempt.

John Paul II served longer than any pope in modern history — from 1978 until he died at age 84 on April 2, 2005.

As part of the visit, William Thomas, a professor from Newman College in Northern Ireland and director of the Pope Saint John Paul II Institute of Marian Studies will give a presentation on “The Apparitions of Fatima” at 6 p.m.

There will be Mass at 7 p.m., then a blessing of the relics.

Visitors gather at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines in December 2013. | Sun-Times file photo