Before the relic pilgrimage even began, we anticipated three particular extraordinary graces that Canadians would be able to receive during this pilgrimage, all related to the Charisms of St. Francis Xavier. These extraordinary graces are: (1) conversion of souls; (2) the raising up of missionary disciples who are abandoned to God’s will; and (3) healing. We know that our prayers have been answered! Pilgrims from across Canada have been sending in testimonies of how Christ has blessed them through the intercession of St. Francis Xavier. Check them out!

  • Before Rise up I had been struggling with anxiety and depression for 7 years. But the night of the relic everything changed. I remember asking God is it time to get off my meds and he gave me a big clear YES!!! Then I went up and placed my commitment card on St. Francis Xavier I bursted into tears. I felt God through the relic say “You have been healed. I am with you you don’t have to talk alone.” I have not been this happy in my whole life. I have my life back! I went to see my doctor when I got home from Rise Up and my dose for depression medicine is being brought down on February 15th! The lord healed me through St. Francis Xavier! There are still some days that I struggle but God is with me and he told me he will never leave me!
    Jessica, Ottawa, ON
  • It's 11:30 pm and I've just arrived home from the St Francis Xavier pilgrimage after a two hour drive. This was an amazing experience to have the opportunity to generate the relic of St Francis! The minute I stepped inside the church and looked towards the relic I felt such a strong presence of something...the Holy Spirit, all the Saints, St Francis, God? It as a beautiful feeling and my spirit leaped with joy at the atmosphere and the amazing number of pilgrims who journeyed to this event! As I processed up to venerate the relic, I began to feel such an overwhelming feeling of for Jesus, love for my faith, love/gratitude for this opportunity. When I approached the relic with my card to venerate it was so overwhelming it brought me to tears and I honestly don't know if I could even describe what I's like I was blinded by the experience. My companions voiced the same overwhelming feeling of being in the company of this great saint. We then went to adoration and I had this feeling of being wrapped in a blanket...warm and protected. My heart is bursting with love and I cannot thank you enough for bringing this relic to Canada, for this amazing opportunity to participate in this pilgrimage! God love and bless you always!
    Saskatoon, SK
  • I recently went to view the relic of St Francis Xavier when it was in Winnipeg, MB at St Mary's Cathedral. I was really moved by the life size picture of the Saint! What spoke to me was how young he was, his enthusiasm to go to a foreign land (India) even though he didn't know what lay ahead of him. He seemed to say yes to Jesus and didn't look back! This saint inspired me to also say yes to Jesus, even though I didn't have all my questions answered about moving forward with a ministry I felt the holy Spirit had been calling me. I felt privileged getting to know this beautiful saint on a personal level.

    Thanks for giving me this opportunity and for so many others, as it has truly brought about so many blessings!
    Jackie, Winnipeg, MB
  • I’m so excited for this coming year. There will be huge things that happen in 2018! My experience with the relic was having my heart set on fire for the Lord’s work, and to really feel his presence. I will pray for the intercession of St. Francis Xavier to help me trust in God’s call for me this year so that I may allow him to work through me!

    The power of the relic for me was absolutely inspiration to lead the willing, and set my heart on fire for making a positive spiritual change in my life.
    Ottawa, ON
  • I visited the relic last night here in Kingston, ON and I believe I had a personal experience with him.

    I was raised Catholic, went to a Catholic elementary and high school here in Kingston. I originally went last night slightly sceptical about the whole situation but as I listened to the Priest tell the story of him I found myself more and more pulled towards his arm.

    I had originally went just because I was seeing it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to see such a thing but it turned into much more.

    For over three weeks I’ve had this “migraine aura” in the right side of my vision; it never impaired my vision but it was always there distracting me often. I woke up this morning to notice that it was gone. There was no longer an aura.

    I found myself moved to tears last night after visiting the relic and sitting in the church pews just thinking about the whole situation... watching over people quietly reflect and probably feeling the way I was feeling also.

    I feel guilty for going in being sceptical but I believe that he healed me. He got rid of the aura I’ve had with me for the last few weeks.

    Thank you for bringing him across Canada. Thousands of others including me are so grateful!
    Kingston, ON
  • There are so many things that I told myself I would leave in 2017 that I have not seemed to let go of. It's led me to become increasingly content with God's silence. However, my time hanging out with St. Francis Xavier gave opportunity for a simple and articulate moment in my spiritual life. It's because I actually invested the time to listen. And even though the majority won't care to understand, it's time for me to let go of the things that hold me back and chase after what is good, beautiful and true. When St. Francis sought missionary abandonment and travelled overseas, he left a life of comfort. Now it's my turn. I'm ready to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

    "This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God’s will and his choice. They would cry out with all their heart: Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do?" —St. Francis Xavier, ora pro nobis
    Vancouver, BC
  • How does one’s heart fathom such an encounter? A physical encounter with a Saint, let alone one of the greatest Saints, one of the greatest missionaries, ever... however, God doesn’t call us to label the greatest. God calls us to admire the greatness of their work and their ablazed hearts that set the course of their mission. I admire the Saints because of how much they loved the Lord and how they were able to spread that love to others. I remember first doing my research on St. Francis Xavier earlier in 2017. I read about this relic and how his forearm was still in existence. I remember first thinking it was kind of weird but now I can’t think of it as anything less than a miracle. A unique, mysterious miracle that yes, may seem weird, but it is still a wondrous, magnificent miracle.

    I fell in love with learning about Saints. When I heard that this relic would be at Rise Up, the feeling was unexplainable. I knew I was excited but this was just an understatement. The night before the veneration of the relic, we experienced adoration. As the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, I had an overwhelming but peaceful feeling come over me as I knew that Jesus was entering the room. That night, it’s like my heart was in Heaven. After experiencing a knee injury earlier in 2017, which prevented me from kneeling in mass, I was nervous that I would not be able to kneel for adoration but I knew in my heart that’s what I wanted. I wanted to worship the Lord, on my knees.

    With His healing hand, He allowed me to kneel. For the first time since my injury, I knelt for a long period of time. Slowly but steady with tears in my eyes, I knelt before Him. With the pain almost completely gone, I knelt. With shaky knees but a steady heart, I knelt. Mark 11: 24 says, “So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” I knew that the Lord would continuously heal me, through the blessing of the Sacrament and through the miracle that was St. Francis Xavier’s arm which made me all the more excited to meet him.

    As I saw the relic being brought into the room, I remember just having my eyes glued to his arm. My eyes were on St. Francis Xavier, my mind was focused and my heart... well, my heart was in Heaven again. My heart was beating... not faster but stronger as St. Francis Xavier entered the room. I knew inside me that the Lord would be working wonders that night, I knew instantly that the Lord would be working wonders in my own very heart. That night, I couldn’t help but think how good the Lord is. How amazing Him and His works truly are. I was truly moved that night to become more like St. Francis Xavier, who had a heart on fire for the Lord. His heart was so on fire with love for Him that he was able to be courageous and spread that to others, even in places that he was unfamiliar with. This meeting with St. Francis Xavier inspired me to become a missionary—a missionary even in the smallest and simplest ways.

    God calls us to love in every moment. He calls us to carry Him wherever we go.

    My heart has truly been set on fire with love for the Lord and I want to be just like this remarkable saint and spread that to others.

    This experience will truly remain engraved in my heart since it affirmed me of my desire to become a Saint, just as we are called to be.

    St. Francis Xavier, I pray that you intercede for us, and help build us into great missionaries just as you were. Please guide us to have a heart on fire to love Jesus and to spread that fire where we are called to be. St. Francis Xavier, as the Lord worked through you many, many years back, I know that miracles can still be performed through your intercession. Oh Mama Mary and St. Francis Xavier, guide us on our path to holiness, on our path to sainthood.

    St. Francis Xavier, pray for us. Set our hearts on fire!
    Rise Up participant, Ottawa, ON
  • My family and I venerated St. Francis Xavier's relic today at Resurrection Parish in Regina. I had recently shared with my boyfriend that I was concerned about my track record with anxiety, which had made it quite difficult to practice my faith for a while. I used to have scrupulosity (basically a religious form of OCD), and this led to two separate falling away experiences as far as practicing my faith was concerned. I had difficulty finding peace of mind because of my obsessions ("Was this a mortal or a venial sin?") and compulsions ("I'll go to Confession, just to make sure" / asking people repeatedly for reassurance). I've been practicing my faith again since April of 2015. I told my boyfriend that I was concerned about becoming overwhelmed in the future by a more general anxiety (thankfully, not scrupulosity anymore), which has primarily manifested itself as overthinking and overanalyzing things that are best left alone, or at least not focused on nearly as much.

    When I approached the relic and venerated it, I felt different. I told my boyfriend very shortly after leaving the church, "I feel hugged from the inside out." I believe that Jesus healed me today. My mind is still. I used to have a very busy mind that I couldn't figure out how to turn off, so to speak, but I can tell that something very powerful happened to me today. I also feel like I made a new friend in St. Francis Xavier, whose prayers I will be asking for regularly in the future.

    I know that my family also had a very positive experience venerating the relic today. Thank you very much for organizing this event and giving us the opportunity of a lifetime.
    Regina, SK
  • My wife and I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to travel from Sydney to Antigonish Monday morning to visit the arm of Saint Francis Xavier. My name is Craig Ferguson and I am a Catholic Youth Minister at Holy Redeemer church in Whitney Pier, and I am also an elementary school teacher. My wife and I have two children and our third child on the way in February.

    Monday afternoon my wife and I felt an overwhelming sense of peace as we sat in our pew only a few feet away from one of our favourite saints. Being in the presence of the ACTUAL Saint Francis Xavier, left us inspired and motivated. Our day in Antigonish was such a beautiful reminder that our Catholic Christianity is steeped in richness and truth. We left Antigonish with a greater sense of abandonment and trust, and we cannot thank you (CCO) enough for blessing our marriage and our personal journey of faith by bringing this relic around Canada. We would like to personally thank the Regnier family for your devotion to evangelizing Canada, and spearheading this CCO movement. We've experienced Rise Up in Halifax, the Fall retreat, and now we've spent time praying with one of our favourite saints.
    Craig, Halifax, NS
  • I was touched to tears of joy and thanksgiving during my visit with the relic of St. Francis Xavier. I am a graduate of StFX and because of my positive experience at StFX, I believe the Holy Spirit lead me to visit his relic. At first, I was not even interested in going, then I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to go and I thank God I went. During my visit, God gave me the graces of joy and thanksgiving for His mercy through the healing of memories plus a deeper trust in the power of God. Thank you for bringing his relic to Halifax, NS.
    Halifax, NS
  • I attended Rise Up for the first time a few days ago and had the amazing opportunity to venerate the relic of St. Francis Xavier. I have talked with my friends who were also there, as well as my parents, and I feel the need to share it on a larger scale, hence this email!

    A little bit about my background: I was born and raised Catholic in a supportive, faith-filled home my entire life. I attended youth group, was very involved in my parish, continued to go to Mass every Sunday, and had experienced spiritual moments, but I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus. This changed only a few months ago when I began reading scripture and journaling my prayers; I could finally hear the Lord speaking to me through His word and see which of my prayers were or weren't being answered. I have been to the Philippines on a mission trip, World Youth Day in Poland, and I actually had the opportunity at the end of 2017 to go to Belize on a mission trip organized through the Archdiocese of Regina, but I had already registered for Rise Up and didn't want to have my money for flights go to waste, so I decided to stick with Rise Up. Oddly I wasn't feeling called to this mission, I felt like I had to be at Rise Up. That choice felt insignificant at the time, and I really only made the choice for logistical reasons, but the Lord sure followed through with His plan and I can finally see the very beginning of the outcome.

    During the evening of veneration, I was very moved by Bishop McCaig's words; I was in a space of vulnerability with the Lord. The time came when we were invited to write down a commitment on the cards we received, and I didn't know what to write. However, while praying the CCO Apostle's Prayer, I prayed the lines "I will go anywhere you want me to go. I will do anything you want me to do. I will say anything you want me to say," and I felt the Lord calling me to mission. I was naturally resistant and tried to ignore it, but He was persistent, so my commitment was that I would apply for a mission of some sort. I got in line to venerate almost immediately after, and was able to spend my time in the line-up praising the Lord with an openness I have never felt. When I got my card blessed and could finally stand in front of the relic, I had to consciously tell myself not to stand there with my mouth agape. I was in total wonder and awe at this connection that I felt to both St. Francis and Jesus, and I went back to my seat feeling numb and shocked. When I sat down and started to process what I had just done--that my commitment to apply for a mission had been blessed by a bishop and witnessed by both St. Francis and the Lord--I honestly felt that I had been set on fire with a missionary heart.

    However, the Lord didn't stop there. I was diagnosed last year with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and 2017 was a very difficult year for me. My mental health struggles took a toll on me emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and I couldn't see things getting any better. That changed when I started reading scripture. My anxiety started to lessen as I started to actually give my burdens to Jesus and trust that He would take care of me. I could tell I still wasn't giving Him my whole heart though, and I didn't know how to do that. The night of veneration changed everything for me. I felt the most peace I have ever felt. I expected it to go away the next day and for my anxious thoughts to return, but they didn't. And I wasn't anxious the next day. Or the next. And today I still feel that peace. I can't even describe what a blessing that has been these past few days. I truly feel the Lord comforting me. I used to be so worried and confused about my vocation and what I was supposed to do next in my life; I still don't know what will happen next, but now I don't feel worried or afraid. Instead I feel curious and excited for what He will call me to next. I really truly believe that this was because of St. Francis' intercession for me. St. Francis knew I wouldn't say yes to mission if I felt so worried. I'm having trouble even putting into words how absolutely transformative that night of veneration was for me. The Lord is speaking to me in a new way and I feel a renewed and deepened connection to him; my heart is His. I feel so peaceful and I can finally feel that deep, inner joy that I've heard about a million times but was never able to feel before.

    I'm lucky to be in Regina, so the relic will be coming here in a few short weeks; I am going to encourage as many people as I can to come venerate, pray, and soak in the graces of the Holy Spirit. I am going to share my experience with anyone who will listen because I am totally sold on the fact that miracles and healing can occur in the presence of this relic. The energy and presence of the Lord in that room was tangible in such a profound way.

    Thank you so much to everyone who was involved in the organization and execution of this Canada-wide tour; I know it's not any easy feat by any means, but Jesus is just waiting to give his graces. I am praying for the whole CCO organization, but especially the relic team. I am so beyond grateful, I don't even have a word for how grateful I am that I was able to have that opportunity and experience. I feel called, changed, and loved, and for that I am so thankful.
    Regina, SK
  • I didn’t feel anything when I was up there in front of the relic. I touched my rosary to the glass, closed my eyes, and said a quick prayer that I can’t even remember. And if you asked me what the arm of St. Francis looked like I couldn’t tell you.

    But where my experience began was in the line for confession.

    I had gone earlier in the week, but I went again in the afternoon just to be sure I made a good one so I could receive the plenary indulgence being granted. And when I was kneeling in the pews, trying to remember anything that I might have forgotten that I needed to confess, it hit me.

    I’ve been antisocial. Any free time I had during the past 3 months was spent on my creative projects, which meant all my friends and family were put on the backburner. I’ve been forgetting to text back my family, ignoring invites on facebook to hang out with friends, and even walking faster around the panhandlers that I used to chat with. I’ve even begun to cut big chunks out of my prayer time to meet my own self-imposed deadlines. Anytime my coworkers would chat with me I would unconsciously ignore them, troubleshooting issues in my head instead.

    This kind of behaviour isn’t new for me. It’s something I’ve confessed many times before. But what made it different this time was with every person that I ignored that I remembered, the more I got choked up. And it got worse it got the closer I got to the confessional. When I closed the door behind me and the priest said those familiar words “In the name of the Father, and of the Son…” I just lost it. I recited my list of sins three bullet points long, but I cried like I had all the guilt in the world on my shoulders.

    I did my penance prostrating myself in front of the tabernacle, which is the kind of thing I avoid because I’m self-conscious. But for once in my life, I didn’t care what think about when they saw me. Especially those walking back to their seats after having their turn with the relic. I kept my forehead touching the ground and let my tears fall on the hardwood floor.

    After all the busyness of this weekend, I’ve come to realize I’ve wasted this entire fall.

    Why does it matter if I manage to get my board game on kickstarter?

    Why does it matter if I get my first novel published, or if I finally win a writing contest?

    Nothing compares to the forgiveness of God and I would give anything in the world to receive it again if I ever lost it. And I have this deep hunger inside of me to let everyone else in the world know that they can be forgiven too. For anything. If you’re reading this and you’re hesitating to go to confession because it’s been years, or the line’s too long, please go. I promise you, It’s the most important thing you’ll do in your life.
    Montréal, QC
  • Thank you so much for bringing St. Francis Xavier’s relic to Mississauga. It was a real blessing, which cannot be described in words. I felt so different after touching the relic. So peaceful. I felt transformed physically, mentally and spiritually. My husband also experienced the same. It was like something was released from our body and we immediately felt a wave of peace, joy and calm within seconds after touching the relic. It cannot be simply explained!

    Thank you a million times! God bless you all!
    Shiny, Mississauga, ON
  • I lost my mum a year ago. I have not not spoken to my younger sister since. My older sister keeps us informed about each other. My husband, who is Anglican, knew I was having a hard day. He saw the flyer [for the relic visit] and advised me we were going.

    The out come of this visit is that my younger sister called me this evening and wants to start a fresh. It’s hard but a start. I prayed for peace between the 3 of us. That she finds peace with herself. Then my husband turned around and tells me to find Mass times and we will go one Sunday. He has not come to Mass with me in years. We have been married 38 years and I always ask him to join me at Mass on Sundays. He made the move after visiting the relic.
    Scarborough, ON
  • I just want to let you know that I attended the mass and viewing in St. John's. My intent was for healing. I had fallen on the ice in the parking lot of the church on Christmas Eve but went ahead and attended mass. I did hurt myself and had pain in my right hip when walking. I have had discomfort in both knees due to arthritis. Two days after this event my pain began to lower and now I am pain free in both my knees and hip. I have a bounce in my walk going up stairs which I haven't had in a long while. Thank you St. Xavier.
    Maura, St. John’s, NF

Did you experience a profound grace from your veneration of St.FX? It could be one of the three extraordinary graces, or some other way that Christ has blessed you. Share your story with us!