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WE LCO M E I am very pleased to welcome you to the St. Francis Xavier Canadian Relic Pilgrimage. Many people have spent countless hours preparing every detail in anticipation of your arrival today. We hope and pray that many Canadians will come to spend time with St. Francis Xavier—yet we planned with each individual in mind. We believe St. Francis Xavier will touch your heart. St. Francis Xavier is a remarkable saint, and we are blessed with the opportunity to encounter his extraordinary relic. I encourage you to commit yourself fully and embrace this experience. Open your heart to what God has in store for you.

Nihil Obstat: Fr. John O’Brien, S.J.

Be bold and earnest in prayer. And have great expectations!

Imprimatur: +Terrence Prendergast, S.J.

The graces of this great saint’s relic are a gift for each of us.

December 3, 2017 First Sunday of Advent, Feast Day of St. Francis Xavier.

They’re also a gift to the Church in Canada and communities within it. Please share this extraordinary pilgrimage with your parish, as well as with your family and friends. This is a wonderful chance to come together as a community of faith.

Cover art: Marlon Solis

On behalf of the organizing partners of the pilgrimage, thank you for taking the time to encounter St. Francis Xavier’s relic. It is my fervent hope that through the intercession of St. Francis Xavier you will receive an abundance of God’s graces on this occasion.

The Relic Pilgrimage is funded solely by donations. You can give online to this extraordinary occasion for the Church in Canada at

—Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J.



A BO U T ST. F RA NC IS XAV IER St. Francis Xavier is considered by many to be the greatest evangelizer since St. Paul. St. Francis Xavier was born in 1506 into Spanish nobility. In 1525, he went to study at the University of Paris where he excelled as an athlete and was very popular among his peers. His roommate was the older St. Ignatius Loyola, whom he initially despised but who eventually became his mentor in faith. St. Ignatius facilitated St. Francis Xavier’s deeper conversion and his call to the priesthood. They, and a handful of friends, were inspired to found a new religious order: the Society of Jesus. In 1540, at a moment’s notice, St. Francis Xavier was asked to replace another Jesuit on mission to Asia. He did not hesitate to follow God’s will. He had a charism of languages and could

Fa c ts BORN: April 7, 1506 Navarre, Spain DIED: December 3, 1552 Shangchuan Island, China FEAST DAY: December 3 CANONIZED: March 12, 1622 alongside St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Philip Neri and St. Isidore the Farmer.

converse in the native language of those to whom he went. It was important to him that local disciples were raised up and equipped


to continue ministering and evangelizing others in the region.

Mozambique, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Shangchuan

On December 3, 1552, St. Francis Xavier died on Shangchuan

Island (China)

Island, within sight of his next mission, mainland China. He was only 46 years old.

FOUNDING MEMBER of the Society of Jesus, with

For more on the life of St. Francis Xavier, consider reading

St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Peter

Set All Afire, by Louis de Wohl. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press)

Faber, and companions.





A bout this relic

P ra ye r of S t. Fra nci s Xa vi e r

This relic is the right forearm and hand

My God, I love you.

of St. Francis Xavier. It is estimated he

Not simply out of hope for heaven,

baptized more than 100,000 people

Nor from fear of eternal loss.

with this arm. This relic typically

But because you, O Jesus,

remains in a reliquary in Rome at the

You embraced me when you embraced the cross,

Jesuit mother church, the Church of

You took the nails, the spear, disgrace,

the Gesù. The remainder of his body

And bore it all for me.

is enshrined at the Basilica of Bom

You took the sorrow and the torment

Jesus in Goa, India.

The sweat of agony—Even death itself! And all for one who was your enemy.

His arm, as well as the rest of his

So why, O blessed Jesus Christ,

body, is incorrupt. Saints are referred

Should I not love you well?

to as incorrupt when their body,

Not for winning heaven nor for escaping hell,

miraculously, does not experience

Not out of hope for personal gain,

natural decay. Despite attempts to

Nor acquiring my own reward.

accelerate the decomposition of

But because you yourself have loved me,

his body by covering it with lime,

O ever-loving Lord.

a corrosive powder used for this

So I do love you, and will love you,

purpose at the time, St. Francis’s body

And your praises I will sing,

remained stubbornly fresh for many

Just because you are my God,

years. It has been 465 years since the

My great eternal king.

saint’s death, and his remains are now completely dry. They are venerated

Written by St. Francis Xavier; adapted by John David O’Brien, S.J.

by thousands each year in both Goa and Rome.



T h e re a re th re e clas s e s of re li cs :

A BO UT R E L IC S The veneration of relics is a longstanding practice inside and outside the Catholic Church. Within Christianity, the practice rests on the belief that God came to humanity

Fi rs t C la s s Body/bones of a saint

in the flesh, namely in the physical person of Jesus of Nazareth. Important Sacraments of the faith include water, wine and bread—physical elements that take on spiritual, supernatural value and characteristics. Similarly, the relics of saints provide for an incarnational experience of God’s graces. Catholics believe that saints can intercede for humanity, given their proximity to God in what is commonly referred to as the Communion of Saints or the Mystical Body of Christ.

S e cond C la s s Objects/clothing that belonged to a saint

There are analogies to this in our human experience. When we have lost a loved one, going to their places or touching their favourite things evoke reverence, affection and connection to them. Relics, in a tangible way, provide an opportunity for a special connection with that saint because their body matters to God and someday will be reunited with their soul.

T h i rd C la s s Objects that have touched a first class relic



Ho w to vene ra te

Indulge nce

the Old and New Testaments

Prepare your heart for the grace

You may receive a Plenary

of the bible. Veneration

you are seeking, perhaps using

Indulgence with this visit to the

results in an encounter with

the suggested prayers. Then,

relic of St. Francis Xavier. A Plenary

God’s healing power. We

approach his relic, venerate it,

Indulgence is the remission before

see it with the healing of

and return to your spot and

God of all the temporal punishment

a man from touching the

reflect on the Lord in silence.

due to sins whose guilt has already

There is precedent for the veneration of relics in both

been forgiven. Indulgences come

prophet Elisha’s bones. We also see the healing from

You may approach the relic of St.

from the ancient Jewish tradition

clothing that touched Jesus

Francis Xavier to venerate it. You

of jubilee years, when all debts

(the hemorrhaging woman

will have about 5-10 seconds to

were forgiven. Catholics believe

who touched his cloak) and

venerate. You may simply stand

that out of the superabundance of

various healings from fabrics

before it with a prayerful attitude,

God’s grace and mercy, a similar

that had touched St. Paul.

make the sign of the cross or

remittance can be had on special

kneel briefly. (Note: please do

occasions. They can be applied to

not genuflect—this is reserved

yourself or to the souls in purgatory.

See: 2 Kings 13:20-21, Mark 5.27-29, Acts 19:11-12

for Christ alone.) In addition to venerating the relic

“God did extraordinary

For protection of the relic, we

of St. Francis Xavier, this Plenary

can only permit the light touch

Indulgence requires you to receive

of a prayer card to the reliquary.

the Sacraments of Reconciliation

miracles through Paul, so

You may then leave your prayer

and the Eucharist, to pray the “Our

that when the handkerchiefs

intention card in the nearby basket.

Father” and the “Hail Mary” for

or aprons that had touched

the intentions of the Holy Father

his skin were brought to the

If you do not wish to venerate

within twenty days of venerating

sick, their diseases left them,

the relic but are interested in this

St. Francis’s relic, and to have an

and the evil spirits came out

unique moment in the life of the

interior disposition of complete

of them.”

community, you may opt to take

detachment from sin.

—AC TS 19 : 11-12


some silent time in reflection.




Conv ersion

St. Francis Xavier had a charism of evangelization. Through his missionary work, thousands of people heard the saving message of Jesus and were converted to the Christian faith. As you look at the images below showing various kinds of relationships with Jesus, which one would you say best describes your life right now? Which one would you like to have represent your life?

P ra y: Father, I believe that you know me and love me. I have not always chosen to love you, and have broken my relationship with you through my sins. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus who proved your love for me on the cross. Lord Jesus, I open the door of my heart and I invite you to be at the center of my life—

Outside of my life

Part of my life

Center of my life

Do you need the prayers of St. Francis Xavier for a deeper conversion of heart? You can pray to Jesus right now with St. Francis Xavier’s help and invite

to be my Saviour and my Lord. Direct me by your Holy Spirit and help me to live the Gospel with my whole life. Amen. St. Francis Xavier, pray for me. Amen.

Christ to be at the centre of your llfe.




Missionary abando nment to G od ’s wi ll


He a li ng

St. Francis Xavier’s desire was to rouse up others (young people

During his lifetime, St. Francis

in particular) to give themselves completely to the service of the

Xavier’s prayers led to many

Church’s mission to save souls and bring the message of Jesus to the

healings and even the raising

ends of the earth. Ask St. Francis Xavier to pray for a special grace to

of people from the dead.

be fully abandoned to God’s will regardless of vocation or location.

Approach him for God’s healing.


P ra y:

Lord, when you called Abraham, he responded, “Ready.” When you called Isaiah, he answered, “Here I am Lord.” When the angel Gabriel called

I will do anything you want me to do. I will say anything you want me to say. Holy Spirit, I welcome you

out to Mary, she responded,

and ask you to guide me.

“I am the handmaid of the Lord.

Form in me an apostle’s heart

Dear God, I entrust to you my health concerns and I ask for your healing. I know you love me and care for me. I know you have prepared a place for me in your Kingdom. I pray in faith and confidence in

Let it be done to me according

filled with love for Christ and

your power to heal and may

to your word.”

zeal for souls.

my life in health or sickness be

Lord, I hear you calling my name. I hear you entrusting me with the task of building your kingdom. Like those holy men and women who have gone before me, I give you my ‘yes’!

I will commit myself with courage and generosity to the New Evangelization. I will build, brick-by-brick,

used to bring you the greatest glory according to your will. Amen. St. Francis Xavier through your

the city of God inside the

powerful intercession please

city of man.

pray to God for the healing


I seek. Amen.

I will go anywhere you want me to go.



Resources for

MISSIONARY DISCIPLES who are eager to share their faith.

See all our evangelization materials at Use the discount code SFX2018 to get started today.



Photo of Jesuits on the 2017 Canoe Pilgrimage of reconciliation. Photo by Dominik Haake

“He who goes about to reform the world must begin with himself or he loses his labour.” -ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA Find us on


XAVIER “We do not worship, we do not adore, for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the Creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore Him whose martyrs they are.” —ST. JER OME

This guide is designed to help you make the most of this incredible opportunity. There will be many favours obtained through this great saint’s intercession. We encourage you to go to to share your experience.


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