The severed forearm and hand of St. Francis Xavier, a Catholic missionary who died almost 500 years ago, is on display in Ottawa.
St. Francis Xavier died in China in 1552, but his body didn’t decompose. The Catholic Church says the “incorruptibility” of Xavier’s body is a sign he was a saint. The arm is normally kept on display at the Church of the Gesu in Rome, one of the first churches of the Jesuit Catholic order. This is first time the relic, which the Church considers sacred, has been put on display on Canadian soil.
As many as 75,000 Canadians are expected to view it during the national tour, organized by the Ottawa Archdiocese. It will be displayed tomorrow afternoon and evening at Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. Expect a line-up and a big crowd if you plan to see it.
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