The Diocese of Orange will be hosting a relic of St. Jude the Apostle, cousin of Jesus, from April 29 through May 2 at four Orange County parishes.

The relic is a piece of bone from St. Jude’s arm that was separated from his remains centuries ago. The bone is inside a wooden reliquary carved in the shape of an upright arm that gives the gesture of imparting a blessing. It is the first time the relic has left Italy. Many blessings have been reported by those who have venerated it, including healings and people returning to the Catholic Church.

Admission is free and open to people of all faiths.

“When I first envisioned having the relic of St. Jude visit us here in Orange County, it was to strengthen the bonds of unity with our Orthodox brothers and sisters,” said Fr. Al Baca, director of the Diocese’s Office of Ecumenism and Inter-religion, which is sponsoring the event. “Like us, they venerate the saints, and they believe that relics are a tangible channel of God’s grace and healing. In time, though, it became clear that this would be a blessing for all of us. It is an honor for the Catholic Church of Orange County to welcome St. Jude and to hear his message of hope and faith in Jesus Christ.”

The following four Orange County parishes will be hosting the relic during the following veneration hours, as well as celebrating a special Mass to St. Jude at 7 p.m.:
■ April 29, Santiago de Compostela Catholic Church, Lake Forest – 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
■ April 30, Christ Cathedral, Garden Grove – 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
■ May 1, Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic Church, Huntington Beach – 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
■ May 2, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, La Habra – 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Holy See considers the relic of St. Jude — known as the “Apostle of the Impossible” — a first-class relic, which is the highest designation and generally a piece of the body of a saint, like bone or hair. After St. Jude’s martyrdom in Beirut around 65 AD, his remains were reportedly interred in a crypt beneath St. Peter’s Basilica around 333 AD.

The relic of St. Jude coming to Orange County is normally based at a Roman parish near Vatican City.

St. Jude was the son of Mary of Clopas (Cleophas), the sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary and one of the “three Marys” who stood by Jesus during his crucifixion. Jude is Jesus’ first cousin and has long been one of the most venerated figures in Christianity. He is a saint people turn to when desperate, having tried everything else, feeling lost or hopeless….

From OC Catholic