GALLERY: Relic of St Francis Xavier arrives

A treasured holy relic of St Francis Xavier, often called the greatest missionary after St Paul, arrived at Sacred Heart Cathedral Hamilton today.

GALLERY: Relic of St Francis Xavier arrives

The relic is the right forearm of St Francis Xavier and has travelled to the diocese as part of a national Pilgrimage of Grace. 


The relic arrived to a packed Cathedral full of clergy, parishioners, teachers, staff at the diocese and the entire Year 11 class of St Francis Xavier's College Hamilton. Tomorrow, Saturday 24 November it will make its way to St Francis Xavier Churches at Abermain and Belmont.


View the photo gallery of the relic of St Francis arriving in the diocese. 


Year of Grace Coordinator Louise Gannon rsj said it's extremely rare for the relic to leave the Gesu in Rome, the mother church of the Society of Jesus where it is under the care of the Jesuits, the order co-founded by St Francis.


"Devotion to holy relics has a long tradition in the Catholic Church," said Sr Louise.


"This is a significant relic providing all Christian people with a unique opportunity to reflect on the story of St Francis who was a great missionary," Sr Louise said.


"Filled with a love of Christ and passion for the Gospel, he travelled extensively, reaching out to the poor, the imprisoned, the sick and the dying. His right forearm is the arm with which he baptised and blessed many thousands of people, and tended and held the sick and dying. His love and respect for people of different cultures continues to inspire us today," she said.


St Francis Xavier holds a special place in the story of the Catholic Church in Australia. For many years he was our co-patron with St Therese of the Child Jesus.


"This is why so many churches and schools are named after him," Sr Louise said.


The pilgrimage is part of the Year of Grace, a time when the Australian Catholic Bishops are inviting the whole Church to join them in refocusing their lives on Jesus, both in prayer and in their daily lives.


Sr Louise said, "Relics remind us that Christ works through human beings; that it is through the choices and actions of our lives that the love and compassion of God is made present in our world. St. Francis Xavier is a wonderful example for us of what is possible when we focus our lives on Jesus."


Program for the pilgrimage of St Francis in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

Friday Nov 23

11.30am - Arrival at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Hamilton.
12 noon - Liturgy of Reception
Catechesis, Prayer and Reverencing of the Relic involving the students from St. Francis Xavier's High School, Hamilton.
1.30pm - Quiet prayer and time to Venerate the Relic
2.30pm - Mass
4.00pm - Evening Prayer
5.00pm - Catechesis and Veneration of the Relic
6.00pm - Mass for the Polish Community
7.30pm - Liturgy for the Indian Community
8.30pm - Youth Liturgy hosted by those groups that use the Cathedral
9.00pm - Night prayer


Saturday Nov 24

8.00am - Mass sponsored by the Novena Community
9.00am - Departure of the relic for St. Francis Xavier's Abermain


St. Francis Xavier Church Abermain
11am - Liturgy of Welcome of Relic
11.10am - Catechesis and Veneration of Relic
11.50am - Silent Prayer
12.00pm - Mass
1.00pm - Silent Prayer and Veneration of Relic
1.30pm - Praying of Decade of Scripture Rosary
1.40pm - Silent Prayer of Veneration of Relic
2.30pm - Personal Testimony of the Affect of the Life of St. Francis Xavier and the Community of St. Francis Xavier's, Abermain
2.40pm - Silent Prayer
2.50pm - Liturgy of Farewell of Relic


St. Francis Xavier Church Belmont
4.00pm - Liturgy of Welcome of the Relic
4.20pm - Catechesis and Veneration of the Relic
5.15pm - Evening Prayer of the Solemnity
5.40pm - Silent Prayer
6.00pm - Vigil Mass of the Solemnity
7.15pm - Catechesis and Veneration of the Relic
8.00pm - The five decades of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, with silence in between and including some readings from the letters of St Francis
9.40pm - Night prayer concluding with Liturgy of Farewell of the Relic


The pilgrimage will conclude back in Sydney with a special Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on 3 December, the Feast Day of St Francis Xavier.


View more information on the Pilgrimage of Grace.

Share Article

What's On



TWEC Gathering

3:00 PM

St Joseph's Convent, New England Highway, Lochinvar



Family Faith Forum

9:30 AM (All Day)



Pints With A Purpose

6:30 PM

Northern Star Hotel, Beaumont St, Hamilton