Relic of St Francis Xavier visits Notre Dame
|Priests from across Sydney led the Mass and veneration of the visiting Holy Relic of St Francis Xavier at St Benedict’s Church. |
The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus recently joined with the Sydney Archdiocesan Chaplaincies and the parish community of St Benedict’s to honour the visiting Holy Relic of St Francis Xavier, patron of all foreign missions and one of Australia’s first patron saints.
There was standing room only in St Benedict’s Church following the procession of the Relic to the altar and the Mass and veneration that followed.
Inspired by his holiness and missionary zeal
|The baptising right arm of St Francis Xavier.|
The Holy Relic is the baptising right arm of St Francis Xavier, who christened tens of thousands of people during missionary work in Africa, India and Asia in the 16th Century.
For 400 years, the Relic has been housed in a silver box in the mother church of the Jesuit order, Il Gesu, in Rome. It visited Notre Dame on a rare, three-month pilgrimage around Australia to help mark the Year of Grace ahead of Pope Benedict’s universal Year of Faith, which begins across the globe on 11 October.
Masters student Tomasz Juszczak represented the University in the Guard of Honour, carrying the Relic in and out of St Benedict’s Church.
"Being part of the Guard of Honour was incredibly special," Mr Juszczak said.
"It isn’t every day that a person is able to venerate such a great saint’s Relic. I was only inches away from an amazing saint and the experience helped me put St Francis’ life in perspective. It inspired me to continue to grow in holiness because the saint’s life was no longer just a story I had heard, it became a complete reality for me."
Notre Dame Student Chaplaincy Convenor, Jessica Langrell, said the Mass and solemn veneration for St Francis Xavier were a wonderful success.
"It was a great opportunity for Notre Dame staff, students, young professionals and parishioners to be inspired by the holiness and great missionary zeal of this saint," she said.
The pilgrimage of the Holy Relic will conclude in Sydney on Monday 3 December, the Feast Day of St Francis Xavier, with a Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral.
The Holy Relic of St Francis Xavier will visit the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta from 27 to 29 November.
St Francis Xavier Relic to visit Parramatta Diocese
Sydney Archdiocese: Pilgrimage of Grace
Year of Grace Parramatta
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