Ottawa

Centuries-old arm of St. Francis Xavier is in Ottawa

The month-long cross-Canada tour of a Catholic relic — the severed arm of St. Francis Xavier — is ending in Ottawa this week.

465-year-old Catholic relic will be in Ottawa for three days

St. Francis Xavier's arm will be on display at Ottawa churches this week, ending its first tour of Canada. (Catholic Christian Outreach)

The month-long cross-Canada tour of a Catholic relic — the severed arm of St. Francis Xavier — is ending in Ottawa this week.

St. Francis Xavier was a Catholic missionary and his arm is considered sacred because he baptized more than 100,000 people with it.

Xavier died in 1552 and his body remains in India, but the Catholic Church removed his arm.  

This is the first time the relic has ever been in Canada and one of only a handful of times it has left the Vatican.

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast helped to organize the tour, which has visited cities across the country.

The severed arm of St. Francis Xavier, considered sacred because he more it to baptize more than 100,000 people, is on tour in Canada. CBC spoke with people who viewed it during its stop in Ottawa. 0:59

In Ottawa, the relic will first appear at the Sainte-Marie d'Orléans Church on Innes Road on Wednesday for a public viewing, followed by a mass in French and several other events. 

On Thursday, it will be at the St. John the Apostle Church on Nepean Road from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and there will then be a closing prayer.

The final events will take place on Friday at the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica on Sussex Drive, with more viewing opportunities from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. followed by a closing mass with the archbishop.