Saint Jude Thaddeus
Virgin & Martyr
Memorial: 28 October (Roman
19 June (Eastern Church)
The Apostle Jude, in
his own Epistle, gives himself the title: "brother of James", which is the
meaning of the name Thaddeus (or Lebbeus) by which Jude was also known. Probably
no saint, after the Blessed Mother, has drawn such enthusiastic followers down
through the centuries as St. Jude Thaddeus. He was one of the chosen 12
Apostles; his brother was James the Less. Not too much is actually recorded
about his life: it seems his big popularity began after his death.
Through history, legend and tradition,
however, we can construct some detailsconcerning this powerful intercessor and
close friend of the Divine Master. St. Jude comes from the line of David and is
a cousin of Jesus Christ. The Jewish people, proud of their lineage, kept exact
records of their ancestors, and we see that St. Jude's father, Cleophas, was the
brother of St. Joseph. St. Jude's mother, Mary of Cleophas, was a cousin of the
Blessed Virgin Mary: their mothers were sisters.
In the Gospel, Mary of Cleophas is
identified as the "sister" who has the courage to stand beneath the Cross of
Christ along with the Virgin Mary and St. John. In the Hebrew language, the word
"sister" was often used to include the cousins.
The Apostle Saint Jude Thaddeus is "The Miraculous Saint,"
the Catholic Patron Saint of "lost causes" and "cases despaired of."When all
other avenues are closed, he is the one to call upon, and his help often comes
at the last moment.
Some traditions say
that he was martyred in Persia and that his body was placed in a crypt in St.
Peter's Basilica. Other traditions say that he brought Christianity to Armenia
with Saint Bartholomew and that he was martyred in Armenia. There is no
independent evidence for any of this.
Prayer to Saint Jude Thaddeus
O most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus --
People honor and invoke you universally, as the patron of hopeless
cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, for I am so helpless
and alone. Please help to bring me visible and speedy assistance. 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 (state your request) and that I may praise God with you
always. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great
favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to
gratefully encourage devotion to you by publishing this request.
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