Frans Xaviers arm skal besøke Canada

Frans Xaviers minnedag er 3. desember, men ble ikke feiret i år siden det var 1. søndag i advent. Jeg var flere år sammen med Frans Xaverius-søstrene i Bergen, derfor kjenner jeg ekstra godt til denne kjente jesuitten og misjonæren (les om ham her). Hans legeme ligger i Goa i India, mens hans høyre underarm og hånd har i alle år ligget i jesuittenes hovedkirke i Roma.

Hans arm var også «på reise» på 500 års-markeringen av hans fødsel i 2006 (da jeg bodde i Roma), og nå skal den altså til Canada – leser vi på Catholic Herald.

St Francis Xavier’s severed right forearm and hand will embark on a month-long tour of Canada in the New Year.

The relic, which is usually displayed in a side-chapel in the Gesù church in Rome, will travel to Ottawa on January 3 before touring 14 cities across the country.

Speaking on CBC Radio, Angèle Regnier, the co-founder of Ottawa’s Catholic Christian Outreach, who will accompany the arm during its tour, joked that the experience will be like “doing a road trip with a friend”.

“I mean, I know it’s bones, but connected to that is a living friendship with St Francis Xavier,” she said. “I’m sure there’ll be a lot of interesting conversations as we go around.” …

St Francis Xavier is best known for his work evangelising various places in Asia, such as Japan and China. Various accounts say he personally baptised between 100,000 and 700,000 people, such that “sometimes, by the bare fatigue of administering that sacrament, he was scarce able to move his arm.”

After his death, his body was laid to rest in Goa, India, but the Jesuit superior general at the time wanted his right forearm and hand – which performed so many baptisms – brought back to Rome as a relic.

Organisers expect the tour to draw thousands of pilgrims.

Bildene under viser både Frans Xaviers arm og hans legeme (uten høyre underarm) i Goa.

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