Before diving deep into self-parody here, some background:
By the eleventh century, several churches in Europe explained they had the Holy Foreskin – the story often went something like this – Jesus’ mother Mary kept the foreskin, along with the umbilical cord, and later gave it to Mary Magdalene. We then jump forward several centuries to the time of Charlemagne, when an angel gave the relic to the Emperor. From there it went to this place or that place, including to Rome. In 1421, it was even sent to Catherine of Valois in England, so that it would bring good fortune (and a pregnancy) to her marriage with Henry V.
The relic has provoked “a lot of theological commentary about whether or not [it] could be real, much of it negative”:
The whole matter was even brought before Pope Innocent III, who was asked to decide whether or not the foreskin and umbilical cord was a true relic. The Pope replied, “Rather than attempt rash answers to such questions, it is better that they be left entirely to God.” This seems to be the line that the Papacy has taken since, although as the idea became criticized and mocked by Protestants, the Holy Foreskin has been gradually hidden away and not talked about by the church.
The last place known to have publicly shown the Holy Foreskin was the Italian village of Calcata, which lies 30 miles north of Rome. The locals claimed that the relic had been there since 1527 and every year on January 1st, it would be taken out of the local church and paraded around. Then in 1983, it mysteriously disappeared, taken from a shoebox underneath the priest’s bed. Many locals believe that it was the Vatican that was responsible for taking away their precious relic. It has, however, brought an end to one of the strangest stories of medieval Christianity.
(Video: trailer for The Quest for the Holy Foreskin. Another video investigating the matter is here.)
(Hat tip: 3QD)