UPEI student gets chance to see St. Francis Xavier's severed arm

Rachel Campbell got to see something most Islanders won't — the hand of St. Francis Xavier.

465-year-old hand of ​St. Francis Xavier on a Canadian tour of 14 cities

A UPEI student got the chance to see St. Francis Xavier's right arm, which was chosen as a relic because it was used to elevate the eucharist, baptize converts and absolve sins in confession. (Mark Crosby/CBC)

Rachel Campbell got to see something most Islanders won't — the hand of St. Francis Xavier.

​Campbell, a fourth-year biology student at UPEI, was in Ottawa during the Christmas holidays where she attended the Rise Up conference.

It was at that conference where she got to see the 465-year-old forearm and hand of ​St. Francis Xavier, which is on a Canadian tour of 14 cities. The relic is usually on display in a glass case at the Church of the Gesu in Rome and is considered incorrupt.

UPEI student Rachel Campbell got to see the St. Francis Xavier relic while in Ottawa attending a youth conference. (Submitted by Rachel Campbell)

She said she didn't know anything about him before seeing the relic. She learned from an archbishop beforehand that the hand is said to have baptized 100,000 people and he was one of the greatest evangelists the Catholic Church has seen.

"At first, I sort of thought it was weird, to be honest," she said. "But it was kind of a cool thing to be a part of it coming to Canada."

The relic won't be making its way to P.E.I. on its cross-Canada tour and Campbell said after having seen it, she wishes Islanders would also get that chance.

"Having seen it, I now think it's unfortunate people here won't get to experience it."

With files from Mainstreet

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