On October 28, we celebrate the feast of Saints Simon and Jude, although this year the feast falls on a Sunday (which takes precedence over the feast day). Saint Jude is the patron of hope, of the impossible, of difficult situations.
Saint Jude Thaddeus was one of the twelve Apostles, the brother of James the Less, and a cousin of Jesus. He preached in Mesopotamia, Libya, and Persia with St. Simon where they made many converts. Both were martyred.
Saint Jude is often pictured holding an image of Jesus: the Holy Mandylion of Jesus, the Image of Edessa. King Abagar of Edessa had leprosy and asked Jesus to cure him. He sent an artist to bring him a drawing of the great healer. Jesus was so impressed with the king’s faith that he pressed his face on the cloth and left his image on it. St. Jude then took the cloth to the king and he was cured.
There have been periods in the history of the church when devotion to St. Jude has waned. Some think this may be because of the similarity of his name to that of the Lord’s betrayer. Even John in his Gospel identifies Jude as “not the Iscariot.” But it seems that God specifically wanted his cousin Jude to be called upon as an intercessor. In visions, both St. Bernard and St. Bridget of Sweden were asked by God to accept St. Jude as the patron saint of the impossible. To Saint Bridget he said, “In accordance with his surname, Thaddeus, the amiable or loving, he will show himself willing to help.”
Has he ever shown himself willing to help!
Those who ask for his intercession often see miracles.
From my own personal experience, I believe he is also a saint with a sense of humor. My husband and I once owned a sailboat that we kept at a marina about an hour from our home. At one point we decided we really needed to sell it. After listing it for some time with no success at all, we decided to ask Saint Jude for help. About a week later, a stranger came to our door and asked if we were interested in selling our boat. I looked at him puzzled because the sailboat was not listed locally. How could this man know we had a sailboat for sale? I said, “Our boat?” He said, “Yes, the canoe on the side of your house.” I said, “Oh! Well, I’ll ask my husband. He might want to sell it.”
After closing the door I laughed and looked heavenward. “Saint Jude, I meant the sailboat!” Then I realized Saint Jude knew we meant the sailboat. I felt he was telling me to hold on, that he was working on it. Shortly after selling the canoe, we also sold the sailboat. Thank you, Saint Jude.
How often Saint Jude has helped me. Imagine my delight upon learning that two of my children wanted to name children after Saint Jude. One already has, and he is pictured below.
My aunt was extremely devoted to Saint Jude and regularly asked for his intercession. On one occasion her son had been unable to study properly for an important test in high school. My aunt prayed that something would happen to postpone the test. When her son returned home she asked him how the test went. He said that the teacher had fallen ill and the test was postponed. My aunt started laughing and confessed to having appealed to Saint Jude. My cousin was somewhat aghast. “Mom! You have to be careful when you ask Saint Jude for something. I didn’t want the teacher to get sick!”
We had a neighbor who also loved Saint Jude. She told my mom that there was a very real possibility that her husband was going to be transferred to a Muslim country where there were no churches, no Eucharistic Presence. She was a very devout Catholic and horrified at the thought of living without the Presence of the Eucharistic Lord. She appealed to Saint Jude. Not only did her husband not get the position that would have required such a move, he actually lost his job completely.
If you appeal to Saint Jude, know that he may do whatever it takes to answer your prayer!
A novena to Saint Jude could be started on October 19 and conclude on October 27, the day before his feast day. You can find a novena prayer on EWTN.com.
Do you have a Saint Jude story? If not, try having him as your patron. As the Lord said, “… he will show himself most willing to help.”
Copyright 2018 Rosemary Bogdan