Major Relic of Saint Francis Xavier

A first-degree relic of missionary Saint Francis Xavier is coming to the Archdiocese of Toronto, January 12-14, 2018. The forearm of the saint, permanently displayed at the Church of the Gesù in Rome, will be in Canada from December 29 – February 2, as part of a 14-city Canadian visit. In our archdiocese, the relic will be hosted by St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica (Jan. 12), St. Francis Xavier Church, Mississauga (Jan. 13) and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Toronto (January 14). More information about the visit and a full schedule of events can be found at:

Organizers believe this is the first time the relic has been on Canadian soil. The body of St. Francis Xavier, which is in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, India, as well as the relic of his arm, are incorrupt—they have not experienced natural decay since his death in 1552. Organizers expect close to 100,000 people will visit the various events across the country—the same number of people it is believed Francis baptized with his right arm and hand.


The feast of the Holy Family is not only an invitation to cherish the gift of the Holy Family of Nazareth and its inspiration for our own natural families, but also to promote the reality of a wider and more inclusive family – the family of God. The more our vision is enlightened by faith and our actions animated by it, the more the human race will become a family. We will become the family of humanity, the family of the Church, the family of God when all the stereotypes are gone, when all the ancient grudges and prejudices and fears are gone, when we look at ourselves and every human being as a family member, when we let faith take over and become channels of grace in spite of ourselves. Our great example is Jesus who saw great potential in everyone, even in the weak and the sinful, the odd and the outcast, the proud and the obstinate, the cold hearted and the cynical, the angry and the resentful. By faith we see through disguises and we see ourselves behind all of them.


    The incarnation is primarily about the Son of Man taking a human nature. However, it is also about Mary’s vocation as Mother and Disciple, marked with her deep receptivity to the creative action of the Holy Spirit, and her total consecration to the divine plan, expressed in her reply to the angel, “May it be done to me according to your word”. Like Mary, we are also called to participate in the fulfillment of God’s promise and we are to imitate what she had obediently done. Jesus can never be physically born again, but we can make His presence become visible to others. We can be God’s agent in the fulfillment of His promise.