St. Jude the Apostle (1st century)

Artist: 
Br. Robert Lentz, OFM

Artist's Narrative:
Very little is known of the Apostle Jude except that he was one of Jesus’ cousins. One of the Epistles in the New Testament is ascribed to him. According to tradition, he preached the Gospel in Persia and was martyred there with St. Simon.

In this icon he is depicted according to the cannons of the Byzantine Church as a young man with a new beard. In one hand he carries a traveler’s staff. He blesses with his other hand.

The Apostles are special patrons of every Christian, for every Christian is a successor of the Apostles. The Apostles were not bishops. They traveled from place to place, preaching the Gospel. Bishops were appointed to govern churches the Apostles had established. A bishop is "wedded" to the particular local church over which he presides. His authority is confined to that place or "diocese." All Christians, however, are called to spread the Gospel like the Apostles. For centuries this truth has been overshadowed by other concerns in the Church, but it remains a part of our purest ancient tradition.

His feast day is October 28.

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