The arm bone of St Jude — know as a...

The arm bone of St Jude — know as a relic — is touring the U.S. and stopped Tuesday at the Church of St. Patrick in Huntington. Credit: Rick Kopstein

It was 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday and there was a line of people already waiting outside the Church of St. Patrick in Huntington 45 minutes before the doors opened to see a relic of one of the original Twelve Apostles.

A piece of the bone from the arm of St. Jude has been attracting thousands of the faithful for the past week on Long Island. At St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre on Monday, some 5,000 people came to see the relic, according to church officials.

St. Jude is the Catholic patron saint of lost causes and desperate situations, which was part of the reason so many people were coming. He also is one of the most venerated figures in Christian history — he was among the small group of disciples who shared the Last Supper with Jesus.

Barbara Weinman said she drove from Seaford to Huntington to see the relic on Tuesday. She said she has been praying to St. Jude since she was 7 years old, when she turned to him to ask for help with an uncle who had cancer.

After she saw the relic on Tuesday, she walked out of St. Patrick's deeply moved.

“My heart became warm and pounded like I had A-fib," she said. “I feel super blessed.”

The relic, displayed in Italy for centuries, is making a tour of Catholic churches throughout the United States. Its last stop on Long Island was Tuesday at the Church of St. Patrick in Huntington. It will be displayed there until 10 p.m. with a Mass at 7 p.m. 

 The relic spent the last week at other Long Island parishes: St. Jude Church in Mastic Beach on Nov. 27; St. Anthony of Padua in East Northport on Nov. 28; St. Patrick in Bay Shore on Nov. 29, Holy Family in Hicksville on Thursday; Notre Dame in New Hyde Park on Friday; St. Patrick in Glen Cove on Saturday; and Holy Name of Jesus in Woodbury on Sunday. It is making stops at churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Michigan, Texas, Oregon and California. Its tour of North America began in September and it will travel throughout the country for nine months. 

Msgr. Steven Camp, pastor of St. Patrick’s, joked with a group of students in the Huntington church on Tuesday that St. Jude is a good saint to pray to for lost causes like the New York Jets.

But afterward, in an interview, he said people were arriving at St. Patrick's to see the relic for much deeper reasons, including personal health crises as well as the political strife in this nation.

St. Jude's tomb rests below the main altar at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Several centuries ago, his arm was removed and placed in a simple wooden reliquary carved in the shape of a priestly arm, church officials said.

That is what the faithful have been able to view on Long Island this past week.

Some of the worshippers on Tuesday said they came to pray for family health emergencies: One woman said her 20-year-old son was about to undergo surgery on his spine.

Weinman, 72, said she has prayed to St. Jude for many things, including the lost animals of friends.

She feels her prayers were answered when her uncle recovered from cancer decades ago.

"I thank God for St. Jude every day," she said. "It's a beautiful thing."

St. Jude holds a special place for many Catholics, said the Rev. Eric Fasano, vicar general of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

"St. Jude is one of the most beloved saints in the history of the Catholic church," he said. "His statue can be found in almost every church in the United States because he is known as a powerful intercessor when people need God's help."

"Because of his reputation for obtaining graces from God for people in seemingly hopeless circumstances, he is known as the apostle of the impossible," Fasano added. "People are drawn to relics of the saints because they want to touch heaven. They seek comfort, forgiveness, meaning, encouragement, hope and love."

St. Jude was martyred by being clubbed to death and beheaded around 65 AD in Beirut, Fasano said. This is why he is often depicted holding a club.

He was buried in Beirut, where the faithful built a church over his remains, Fasano said. Those remains were later transferred to Rome.

"The visit of St. Jude's relic is an incredibly unique opportunity," Fasano said. "This is the arm of an apostle who ate with our Lord Jesus at the Last Supper. It is an arm that hugged Jesus, Jude's first cousin. We pray that the presence of this blessed relic will be a source of inspiration and grace for all people of Long Island, and especially for our diocese during these challenging times."

It was 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday and there was a line of people already waiting outside the Church of St. Patrick in Huntington 45 minutes before the doors opened to see a relic of one of the original Twelve Apostles.

A piece of the bone from the arm of St. Jude has been attracting thousands of the faithful for the past week on Long Island. At St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre on Monday, some 5,000 people came to see the relic, according to church officials.

St. Jude is the Catholic patron saint of lost causes and desperate situations, which was part of the reason so many people were coming. He also is one of the most venerated figures in Christian history — he was among the small group of disciples who shared the Last Supper with Jesus.

Barbara Weinman said she drove from Seaford to Huntington to see the relic on Tuesday. She said she has been praying to St. Jude since she was 7 years old, when she turned to him to ask for help with an uncle who had cancer.

After she saw the relic on Tuesday, she walked out of St. Patrick's deeply moved.

“My heart became warm and pounded like I had A-fib," she said. “I feel super blessed.”

The relic, displayed in Italy for centuries, is making a tour of Catholic churches throughout the United States. Its last stop on Long Island was Tuesday at the Church of St. Patrick in Huntington. It will be displayed there until 10 p.m. with a Mass at 7 p.m. 

 The relic spent the last week at other Long Island parishes: St. Jude Church in Mastic Beach on Nov. 27; St. Anthony of Padua in East Northport on Nov. 28; St. Patrick in Bay Shore on Nov. 29, Holy Family in Hicksville on Thursday; Notre Dame in New Hyde Park on Friday; St. Patrick in Glen Cove on Saturday; and Holy Name of Jesus in Woodbury on Sunday. It is making stops at churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Michigan, Texas, Oregon and California. Its tour of North America began in September and it will travel throughout the country for nine months. 

Msgr. Steven Camp, pastor of St. Patrick’s, joked with a group of students in the Huntington church on Tuesday that St. Jude is a good saint to pray to for lost causes like the New York Jets.

But afterward, in an interview, he said people were arriving at St. Patrick's to see the relic for much deeper reasons, including personal health crises as well as the political strife in this nation.

St. Jude's tomb rests below the main altar at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Several centuries ago, his arm was removed and placed in a simple wooden reliquary carved in the shape of a priestly arm, church officials said.

The arm bone of St Jude — called a relic...

The arm bone of St Jude — called a relic — has been displayed at several Catholic churches on Long Island since last week, including the St. Patrick's in Huntington on Tuesday. Credit: Rick Kopstein

That is what the faithful have been able to view on Long Island this past week.

Some of the worshippers on Tuesday said they came to pray for family health emergencies: One woman said her 20-year-old son was about to undergo surgery on his spine.

Weinman, 72, said she has prayed to St. Jude for many things, including the lost animals of friends.

She feels her prayers were answered when her uncle recovered from cancer decades ago.

"I thank God for St. Jude every day," she said. "It's a beautiful thing."

St. Jude holds a special place for many Catholics, said the Rev. Eric Fasano, vicar general of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

"St. Jude is one of the most beloved saints in the history of the Catholic church," he said. "His statue can be found in almost every church in the United States because he is known as a powerful intercessor when people need God's help."

"Because of his reputation for obtaining graces from God for people in seemingly hopeless circumstances, he is known as the apostle of the impossible," Fasano added. "People are drawn to relics of the saints because they want to touch heaven. They seek comfort, forgiveness, meaning, encouragement, hope and love."

St. Jude was martyred by being clubbed to death and beheaded around 65 AD in Beirut, Fasano said. This is why he is often depicted holding a club.

He was buried in Beirut, where the faithful built a church over his remains, Fasano said. Those remains were later transferred to Rome.

"The visit of St. Jude's relic is an incredibly unique opportunity," Fasano said. "This is the arm of an apostle who ate with our Lord Jesus at the Last Supper. It is an arm that hugged Jesus, Jude's first cousin. We pray that the presence of this blessed relic will be a source of inspiration and grace for all people of Long Island, and especially for our diocese during these challenging times."

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