Today is the feast of St. Jude, patron saint of Desperate and Impossible cases. I learned a long time ago that his tomb was found inside the Vatican so in one of my visits I tried so hard looking for it and I did! Unfortunately since it was some decades back (no digital camera yet), I can’t find the photo I took.
For those not familiar with the saint, here are some facts I picked up about him:
- The tradition of devotion to St. Jude goes beyond a simple Bible story; in fact, it is a reflection of the ability of ordinary people to call upon their powerful faith to triumph over seemingly impossible odds in their daily lives.
- Legend has it that St. Jude was born into a Jewish family in Paneas, a town in the Galilee portion of ancient Palestine, the same region that Jesus grew up in. He probably spoke Greek and Aramaic, like many of his contemporaries in that area, and he was a farmer (as many of his family were) by trade.
- Jude had several brothers, including St. James, who was another of the original Apostles. His own first name, “Jude”, means giver of joy, while “Thaddeus”, another name he was called, means generous and kind.
- He was later married, had at least one child, and there are references to his grandchildren living as late as 95 A.D.
- St Jude was one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, chosen to spread the word of the gospel.
- He was also known as Thaddeus or Thaddaeus – said to be a surname for the name Labbaeus which means “heart” or courageous”.
- 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 believed to have written the book of Jude. Religious scholars say it contains some of the finest expressions of praise to God in the Bible’s New Testament.
- Jude became associated with desperate situations because of a letter he wrote to the Churches of the East. In it he says that the faithful must keep going even in harsh or difficult circumstances.
- He is thought to have been martyred in Beirut in around 65 AD, along with fellow apostle Simon the Zealot. He is often depicted showing a club or axe, symbolising the way he died.
- He is also sometimes pictured with a flame above his head. This refers to the Pentecost, where he and the other apostles received the Holy Spirit.
- Some choose to carry the image of St Jude on a medal or as a pendant on a necklace to provide comfort.
- St Jude is not to be confused with Judas Iscariot – another of the 12 apostles, but the one who betrayed Jesus.
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.
PRAYERS FOR SPECIAL INTENTIONS
“St. Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the person (who betrayed our Lord) has caused you to be forgotten by many, but the true Church invokes you universally as the Patron of things despaired of. Pray for me, who is so miserable; pray for me, that I may finally receive the consolations and the succour of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (ADD YOUR PERSONAL REQUEST HERE), and that I may bless God with the Elect Throughout Eternity.”
“May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be Adored, Glorified, Loved and Preserved throughout the world, now and forever.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, please pray for me.
Saint Jude, Worker of Miracles, please pray for me.
Saint Jude, Helper of the Hopeless, please pray for me. Amen.”
“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. Amen.”
“Holy Saint Jude, Apostle and Martyr, Great in virtue and rich in miracles, Near kinsman of Jesus Christ, Faithful intercessor of all Who invoke your special patronage in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depths of my heart And humbly beg to whom God has given such great power To come to my assistance. Help me in my present and urgent petition, In return I promise to make your name known And cause you to be invoked. Saint Jude pray for me and all those who invoke your aid. Amen.”
Sources: Mirror, Catholic Online