RELICS OF JESUIT MISSIONARY BROUGHT TO WINNIPEG

January 16, 2018

RELICS OF GREAT JESUIT MISSIONARY ST FRANCIS XAVIER MAKE A STOP IN WINNIPEG

The Relic of the hand of St. Francis Xavier, the famous Missionary and co-founder of the Jesuit Order, are making a tour of Canada, stopping in the country's major centres for the veneration and inspiration of the Faithful. If Winnipeg is a typical experience, then the tour is an overwhelming success. St. Mary's Cathedral in the city centre was filled to capacity for the opening Divine Liturgy celebrated by Winnipeg's three Catholic Archbishops. The main celebrant, of course was Archbishop Richard Gagnon. He was joined by St. Boniface Archbishop Albert LeGatt and Metropolitan-Archbishop Lawrence Huculak. Joining them were almost 20 clergy and hundreds of faithful from the three Catholic jurisdictions of Southern Manitoba.

St. Francis Xavier was born in Spain in 1506 and died in China in 1552. His sainthood was recognized at his canonization in 1622. As the great missionaries of his day, St. Francis preached the Gospel fare and wide - reaching Portugal, Mozambique, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China.

The relic is the incorrupt right forearm and hand of St. Francis. This relic is normally kept at the "Gesu" church of the Jesuits in Rome and is very rarely allowed outside the Eternal City. The Jesuit Archbishop of Ottawa, Most Rev. Terrence Prendegast, interceded and received permission for the Catholic Christian Outreach of Canada to take it all across Canada this year.

The goal of the cross-Canada tour is to inspire and obtain three specific Graces for the people of Canada…. 1. CONVERSION! Conversion of the those who have not yet met Christ and conversion of those who have but perhaps whose faith and enthusiasm has waned. 2. ABANDONMENT TO GOD'S WILL! That we would receive the inspiration and courage to dedicate ourselves 100% to the Lord and His plan for us! As they say… "Let go and let God". and 3. HEALING! That all Canadians collectively and each of us individually would receive the healing for the hurts that have scarred and wounded us. That we would overcome and abandon those things that harm us and keep us down and enslave us to shame, bitterness and hopelessness.

The media has been reporting about this amazing tour since it began, because it is truly amazing that a 400-year-old relic of a saint would draw so much attention and attract so many people. Yet, St. Mary's was full and the relic is to be exhibited for veneration throughout the day until 10:00 PM. The last report was that a stream of people is visiting the Cathedral throughout the afternoon and a major prayer and preaching event is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

Many are coming for the inspiration and for the plenary indulgence. Some come to simply support this beautiful fruit of Catholic faith culture. Some say they come to be in the presence of something real and holy. What are they saying? Well, there is nothing more miraculous or holy or tangible than the Holy Eucharist itself that is present in many of our Churches every day. If we attend the Eucharistic Liturgy (Divine Liturgy, Mass) every day we receive the living Body and Blood of Christ by consuming the sacred gifts (nothing more "tangible" than that!). We become one with our Lord! So why is a relic so special? Very simply, because as one of the priests said after the morning Mass at St. Mary's - it reminds us that we are all are as capable of holiness as was St. Francis. We are mere humans, so was he. We all can dedicate our lives to the Lord as he did and we will see where the Lord leads us. The Lord has a plan for each of us. The adventure begins when we say, like St. Francis Xavier,....

"Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do? Send me anywhere you like."


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