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St. Jude relic on last leg of US tour, headed for Florida

Arm of St. Jude

Diocese of Lansing | Fair Use via YouTube

J-P Mauro - published on 02/16/24

The arm of St. Jude has already been through much of the US Midwest and Northeast; now it travels south with 25 stops left before the tour concludes in March.

Since September, the arm of St. Jude, an immensely popular relic that is normally housed at St. Peter’s Basilica, has been traveling the US, church by church. The relic has already been through much of the American Midwest and Northeast and now it’s traveling South toward Florida. Most recently, it passed through the Diocese of Arlington where a crowd of nearly 3,000 came to venerate the relic of the cousin of Christ. 

According to the Catholic Herald, an estimated 2,800 pilgrims and faithful gathered for the relic’s February 10 stop at St. Ambrose Church in Annandale. As the patron saint of impossible causes, St. Jude’s intercession is regularly sought by the faithful living with illnesses and injury.

At St. Ambrose, Catholics carried with them photographs of sick loved ones and soldiers on deployment, handwritten notes, and even medical reports to place before the relic. 

Apostle of the Impossible

The tour is appropriately titled Apostle of the Impossible: The Tour of the Relics of St. Jude the Apostle, in reference to St. Jude’s patronage. The relic in question is the actual arm of St. Jude, which rests within a reliquary that is also shaped like an arm, with two fingers raised in a blessing. The relic was placed behind glass during its public exposition. 

Father Carlos Martins, director of Treasures of the Church, who has been traveling the US with the arm of St. Jude, suggests that St. Jude’s popularity in the US comes largely thanks to the devotion of entertainer Danny Thomas. Thomas was at a low point in his career when he prayed to St. Jude to intercede on his hopeless prospects, promising to build a shrine in St. Jude’s honor. When his success finally came, however, instead of building a shrine, he built the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. 

St. Jude’s relic has covered a lot of ground since September, but it has a long way left to go before it concludes the tour of the US in March. From Virginia, it will travel south through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and finally Florida, where the tour will conclude. According to the official website of the Apostle of the Impossible tour, there are 25 more stops to make.

There are still plenty of opportunities to visit and venerate the arm of St. Jude. Click here to see a list of the relic’s remaining US stops

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