The severed arm of a centuries-old saint was the centrepiece of a special Mass in Wollongong at the weekend, as the holy relic made a stopover in the city during its three-month national tour.
The right forearm of St Francis Xavier, a former patron saint of Australia, was venerated by more than 100 Catholic parishioners yesterday afternoon, many eager to catch a glimpse of the arm he used to bless and baptise thousands.
It was given pride of place during a special service at Wollongong's St Francis Xavier Cathedral, where it was displayed behind perspex in a purpose-built reliquary.
The limb - which was detached from his body and taken as a religious relic in 1614 - has been credited with ending plagues and healing the sick and blind.
It will make more than 100 stops before it returns to Rome.