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St. Jude

St. Jude by Br. Arturo Olivas, OFS

Artist's Narrative:

Most holy apostle St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered your beloved Master into the hands of His enemies has caused you to be forgotten by many, but the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of.

Please come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly —mention your request), and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

His feast day is October 28.

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Judes parents were Cleophas, who died a martyr, and Mary who stood at the foot of the Cross, and who annointed Christ's body after death. Jude is the brother of St. James the Lesser; nephew of Mary and Joseph; blood relative of Jesus Christ, and reported to look a lot like him. St. Jude was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus.  He may have been a fisherman.

Ancient writers tell us that he preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. According to Eusebius, he returned to Jerusalem in the year 62, and assisted at the election of his brother, St. Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem.

He is an author of an epistle (letter) to the Churches of the East, particularly the Jewish converts, directed against the heresies of the Simonians, Nicolaites, and Gnostics. This Apostle is said to have suffered martyrdom in Armenia, which was then subject to Persia. The final conversion of the Armenian nation to Christianity did not take place until the third century of our era.

Jude was the one who asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He would not manifest Himself to the whole world after His resurrection. Little else is known of his life. Legend claims that he visited Beirut and Edessa; possibly martyred with St. Simon in Persia.

Jude is invoked in desperate situations because his New Testament letter stresses that the faithful should persevere in the environment of harsh, difficult circumstances, just as their forefathers had done before them. Therefore, he is the patron saint of desperate cases and his feast day is October 28. St. Jude is not the same person as Judas Iscariot who betrayed Our Lord and despaired because of his great sin and lack of trust in God's mercy.

His patronage of lost or impossible causes traditionally derives from confusion by many early Christians between Jude and Judas; not understanding the difference between the names, they never prayed for Jude's help, and devotion to him became something of a lost cause. 

Died: Beaten, then beheaded post-mortem in 1st century Persia; relics at Saint Peter's, Rome, at Rheims, and at Toulouse, France 

Name Meaning: Sweetness or gentleness of character (Thaddeus)