More than 300 Winnipeggers waited in a line at St. Mary’s Cathedral to get a glimpse of an ancient relic.

The forearm of St. Francis Xavier was situated in a Plexiglas case atop the altar at St. Mary’s Cathedral, and the church says the reason many come to witness the forearm is because it has not experienced natural decay since his death in 1542.

This is the first time the relic has been removed from Rome, Italy since 2012 when it traveled across Australia.

St. Francis Xavier is one of the most prominent Catholic figures because of his missionary work. The number of people Xavier baptized is more than 100,000, says the church, and his impact can be witnessed across the world.

Angèle Regnier is co-founder of the Catholic Christian Outreach. She is traveling around the country presenting the relic and she says, “Xavier spent time in Asia, and many people in Winnipeg are from India, China, and Japan, and they feel their Christian roots derive from Xavier’s teachings.”

The remainder of St. Francis Xavier’s body is preserved in Goa, India and is shown to the public once every ten years.

The relic will make stops in Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, and Montreal before being brought back to Rome.