July 4, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Francis Xavier is one of Australia's patron saints. In just a few months, one of his treasured relics will make its way all the way from a Church in Rome to Australia. MSGR. PETER COMENSOLI
Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Sydney“It's very rare for the the relic of the arm of St. Francis Xavier to ever leave the Gesu, here in Rome, but we thought it would be good as part of a special year of Grace that Australia is having, that we might have the arm of St. Francis Xavier make a pilgrimage around the country.”
St. Francis Xavier co-founded the Society of Jesus. As part of this project, Jesuits here in Rome agreed to lend his arm to Australia. Sydney's Auxiliary bishop says once in the country, the relic will stay in each diocese for about two to three days. It's all ties in to Australia's so called “Year of Grace” that will end in Pentecost 2013. MSGR. PETER COMENSOLI
Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Sydney
“His right arm was this arm that baptized and blessed so many thousands of people in our part of the world, not in the European part of the world but in the Southern part of the world where Australia is”
The relic is scheduled to arrive in Australia on September 16th. Several pilgrimages are planned in the following months within Australia. On December 3rd, it will make its way back to Sydney where his feast day will be celebrated. On the 4th of December, the relic will make its way back to Rome.