To some, it’s known as the arm that baptized thousands. One of the most revered saints of the Catholic Church is on a cross-Canada tour, or at least a piece of him is.
St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kingston played host to the relic of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of missions.
The forearm is actually 465 years old.
“This is his priestly arm, this is the hand that elevated the eucharist that absolved people of their sins, that baptized tens of thousands of people, we don’t know how many — villages, entire villages were baptized by his hand, said tour organizer Angele Regnier. “He healed people, he raised people from the dead — it was that hand that was lifted in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Hundreds were on hand for the mass as well as the veneration of the relic.
The 14-stop tour was organized by Catholic Christian outreach, a university student group.
“The saints, those who were canonized are sort of examples of the Christian life,” said Rev. Brendan O’Brien, the Archbishop of Kingston. “People look to them as an example of how to live their lives. Different saints have different qualities. With St. Francis Xavier, it was that openness to do God’s will, and it was that zeal to go to a far off country to preach the gospel.”
The cross-country tour wraps up Feb. 2 in Ottawa.