Arm bone of St. Jude to tour Archdiocese of Newark as part of first U.S. pilgrimage
A bone from the arm of St. Jude, widely revered among Catholics as the patron saint of hopeless causes, will be on public display at seven parishes within the Archdiocese of Newark this December as part of the relic’s first tour outside Italy.
The ancient bone, encased in a centuries-old wooden vessel carved in the form of an arm bestowing a blessing, will make its initial appearance in northern New Jersey at the Church of the Assumption in Emerson on December 7. During this time, it will be available for public veneration from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. The relic will then move to St. Joseph Church in Oradell on December 8, St. Helen Church in Westfield on December 9, St. Leo’s Church in Elmwood Park on December 10, St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny on December 11, and Our Lady of the Lake Church in Verona on December 18. The veneration and Mass schedule for each site is available on the tour’s website.
“St. Jude is special to many Catholics because he’s the Apostle of the Impossible — people turn to him when they most need help,” said Father Joe Mancini, pastor of St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny, who will celebrate a Mass honoring St. Jude on December 11 at 7 p.m. “But not everyone can travel to Europe to venerate his relics in person, so it’s exciting that his arm bone is visiting the Archdiocese. This is a great opportunity for local Catholics to come together and grow in their faith.”
All who are suffering or know someone experiencing challenges are especially encouraged to pray before the relic because St. Jude is associated with healing and other miracles. Though visitors are restricted from physically touching the relic, they are encouraged to place personal items against the glass case surrounding the reliquary. This act transforms those objects into third-class relics. Visitors also may hold pictures of loved ones against the glass to symbolically entrust them to the saint’s care.
Treasures of the Church, a Michigan-based ministry that partners with the Vatican to make relics accessible to Catholics worldwide, facilitated the bone’s trip to the U.S. The Holy See specifically asked Treasures of the Church to provide the St. Jude relic for its latest exposition, aiming to bring healing to those still struggling in the aftermath of COVID-19. The ministry hopes the relic will bring comfort to all visitors.
“For 2,000 years, one saint has symbolized the unstoppable power of heavenly intercession,” said Father Carlos Martins, director of Treasures of the Church, which has brought the bone to parishes in Chicago, New York City, and many other locations since September. “Come and feel his transformative presence. Come and see what St. Jude has in store for you.”
St. Jude, who was Jesus’ first cousin, was one of the Twelve Apostles. Following Christ’s crucifixion, Jude preached the gospel throughout Mesopotamia until his martyrdom in approximately 65 A.D. Today, he is considered one of the Catholic Church’s most beloved saints, with numerous shrines and churches dedicated to him around the world. He is particularly popular among Americans due in part to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which was created by actor Danny Thomas in gratitude for an intercession St. Jude made in his own life.
For more information on St. Jude’s U.S. relic tour, visit www.apostleoftheimpossible.com.