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St. Francis Xavier relic at The Basilica on Jan. 5

The right forearm and hand of St. Francis Xavier will be at The Basilica in St. John’s on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.
The right forearm and hand of St. Francis Xavier will be at The Basilica in St. John’s on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. - Submitted

The arm and hand that baptized more than 100,000 people is making a pilgrimage to St. John’s.

The right forearm and hand of St. Francis Xavier will be at The Basilica on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 as this relic will visit 14 cities across Canada, where the relic will be available for veneration.

It is estimated he baptized more than 100,000 people with this arm. This relic remains in a reliquary in Rome at the Jesuit mother church, the Church of the Gesù. The remainder of his body is entombed in Goa, India.

The arm, called incorrupt by Saints due to lack of decay, is perfectly intact some 465 years after St. Francis Xavier’s death.

It will be on display at The Basilica from 12:30-10 p.m. Included in the day’s activities will be a mass at noon, followed by the public veneration from 12:30-10 p.m. Also on tap will be a Relic Talk: Life of St. Francis Xavier and the three graves at 7 p.m.; confessions will be heard from 8-10 p.m. and a closing prayer will be held at 10 a.m. featuring the Litany of St. Francis Xavier.

The arm arrived in Canada on Dec. 27 and will be part of events that include St. John’s, Québec City, Halifax, Antigonish, Kingston, Toronto/Mississauga, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria and Montréal, as well as Ottawa.

All events are free and open to the public.

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