The relic pilgrimage of St. Francis Xavier is a gift for the Church in Canada as we close our 150th anniversary year. This Pilgrimage will bring the first class relic of St. Francis Xavier to North America for the first time in generations. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness and venerate the incorruptible first class relic of probably the greatest missionary and evangelist the world has ever seen since St. Paul the Apostle.
The veneration of relics has a track record of providing extraordinary graces, and we expect this tour will be no exception. We are anticipating the particular extraordinary graces of healing, the conversion of souls and the raising up of missionary disciples who are abandoned to God’s will. We cannot predict what will happen, but we do know that through this relic you have the unique opportunity to personally encounter the tender heart of Jesus. The Archdiocese of Ottawa in coordination with the Society of Jesus and Catholic Christian Outreach are working together to deliver this lifetime opportunity to Canadians so that we may encounter Jesus, and be inspired to work together for the renewal of the world.
The pilgrimage will be passing through every CCO city (including, of course, St. John’s) in the month of January as well as Quebec City, Regina, and Antigonish. The schedule and more information will be available soon on cco.ca/relic. There will be opportunities to venerate the relic on Friday, January 5th at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist.
Schedule of events at the Basilica:
12:10 p.m.: Mass, with the relic present
All afternoon: Veneration open to the public
7:00 p.m.: Archdiocesan celebration of Prayer Service, Confessions and Veneration of the Relic
Who was St. Francis Xavier? St. Francis Xavier was a famous Jesuit missionary to India and Japan, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to faith. It is said that he was the greatest missionary since St. Paul the Apostle. The major relic that will be venerated during the pilgrimage is his right arm, usually venerated at the Gesu Jesuit church in Rome. It is rare that this relic leaves its usual home, and so this is a unique opportunity to venerate and to thank God for the work of this great missionary, and for the gift of faith.