The Holy Hand of St. Francis Xavier!

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His right hand was cut off the mummified corpse located in Old Goa, India in 1614 and kept in Rome. Shortly after the first exhibition of the corpse, a Portugese woman bit off one of the Saint's big toes. The toe is now in a silver reliquary in another cathedral in Goa. One of St. Francis Xavier's (diamond-encrusted) fingernails is on display in a nearby village and his left hand is in Japan.

The hand of St Francis Xavier – Gesu, Rome

Born in 1506, he was a co-founder of the Society of Jesus. St Francis Xavier was one of the first seven Jesuits to take vows of Chasity and obedience in 1534. He was a prolific preacher and teacher, most notably in India although he also had an influence in Japan and Borneo. He was beatified by Pope Gregory XV on 12th March 1662.

Initially he was buried on a beach on Shangchuan Island, in the South China Sea. His incorrupt body was then taken to Portuguese Malacca and buried in St Paul’s Church. In 1553 St Francis body was exhumed and moved to the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa. His reliquary was constructed to reflect Italian and Indian styles and has four sides depicting different scenes from the Saint’s life.

St Francis’ right forearm was detached in 1914 and moved the main Jesuit Church in Rome, The Gesu. His left arm was initially going to be sent to Japan but was given to the Cathedral Church in Macau due to the religious persecution in Japan. Since 1978 the left hand has since been kept in various locations.

 

Prayer of St. Francis Xavier:

Eternal God,
Creator of all things,
remember that You alone
has created the souls of unbelievers,
which You have made according to Your Image and Likeness.
Behold, O Lord,
how to Your dishonour many of them are falling into Hell.
Remember, O Lord,
Your, Son Jesus Christ,
Who so generously shed His Blood and suffered for them.
Do not permit that Your Son, Our Lord,
remain unknown by unbelievers,
but, with the help of Your Saints and the Church,
the, Bride of Your Son,
remember, Your mercy,
forget their idolatry and infidelity,
and make them know Him,
Who You have sent,
Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord,
Who is our salvation,
our life, and our resurrection,
through Whom we have been saved and redeemed,
and to Whom is due glory forever.

Amen.

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