The arm of St. Jude the Apostle will leave Italy for the first time and tour the U.S., the Catholic Church announced.
Christians are taught about the relationship between Jude and Jesus Christ. The church teaches that Jude stood by Jesus during his crucifixion.
Catholics believe Jude was killed in A.D. 65 and buried in Mesopotamia before being given permanent interment at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
The church states that Jude's arm was removed from his tomb centuries ago and placed into a wooden container in the shape of an arm.
Jude is known to Catholics as the patron saint of hope. The church says believers who get an opportunity to see the relic will have a rare opportunity to be closer to God.
“The visit provides an opportunity for individuals to experience intimacy with someone who dwells in Heaven and beholds God face-to-face," said Father Carlos Martins. "It allows devotees to receive his blessing and entrust him with their petitions."
Martins added that the tour is happening now because the church believes people could benefit from seeing the relic following the pandemic.
"Many still grieve a loved one claimed by the virus, numerous folks suffer the effects of long-COVID and other pandemic-related medical conditions, long-term isolation has led to depression for many and deterioration in mental health, there is widespread distrust of public policy and media reporting, and many face economic hardship due to closed businesses and inflation," Martins said. "The Apostle’s visit is an effort by the Catholic Church to give comfort and hope to all who need it.”
The tour, which will begin on Saturday at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago, will make stops across the country through May 2024.
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