For the first time, the arm of St. Jude will leave Italy and tour churches, schools, prisons, and more across the United States beginning this month, a Catholic evangelization ministry announced this week.
The relic will be hosted in parishes, schools and prisons in numerous Catholic dioceses spanning most of the country, including Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Michigan, New York, Texas, and Oregon, and California. The legend says: The relic of one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, considered to be the patron saint of hopeless or difficult causes, is scheduled to first stop at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago on Sept. 9 and be on tour until May 2024. Local news outlets and church organizers said thousands of visitors are expected during various stops along its nine-month tour.
The Church said the tour “offers a unique opportunity for devotees and the curious alike to experience a connection with one of the most venerated figures in Christian history,” Catholic News Agency reports. “The visit provides an opportunity for individuals to experience intimacy with someone who dwells in heaven and beholds God face-to-face.”
The tale says Jude is identified as “the Lord’s first cousin,” according to Treasures of the Church; he was one of Christ’s Twelve Apostles and is believed to have been martyred in Beirut several decades after Christ’s death and resurrection.
History records his body as having been transferred to a tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica centuries after his death; his arm was subsequently removed and placed in a reliquary in the shape of a priest’s hand giving a blessing.
CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY
The USA version says: “ Saint Jude’s arm was removed and placed in a wooden reliquary, then carved in the”shape of a priestly arm” several centuries ago to impart a blessing.