Skip to comments.Who Is Saint Jude Thaddeus?
Posted on 10/29/2002 6:05:59 PM PST by Lady In Blue
The origins of devotion to St. Jude as the patron of difficult or hopeless cases are nearly as obscure as details of the life of the great Apostle. These origins seemed to have been a spontaneous rising of interest among the faithful themselves, prompted possibly by the fact that according to tradition, St. Jude was a near relative or cousin of Jesus and that as a child, he was a playmate of the Lord.
Confusion of the names of St. Jude and the traitor, Judas, effectively discouraged devotion to the saint for many centuries. Devotion to him, consequently, has been of relatively recent origin although there is evidence that this devotion was held in high esteem during the Middle Ages.
Impetus to this devotion was undoubtedly given by Our Lord Himself who directed St. Bridget of Sweden to turn to St. Jude with great faith and confidence. "In accordance with his surname, Thaddeus' the amiable, loving," said Our Lord, "he will show himself most willing to give help."
St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Less, and a relative of our Savior. Ancient writers tell us that he preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, ldumaea, 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 the author of an epistle 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 3rd century of our era.
We are told that St. Jude's father, Alphaeus, was murdered because of his forth-right and outspoken Devotion to the risen Christ. The mother of St. Jude and St. James the Less, also named Mary, was a cousin of the Virgin Mary. After her death, miracles were attributed to her intercession.
St. Jude is shown, traditionally, as carrying the image of Jesus in his hand. This represents, according to tradition the imprint of the Divine Countenance that was entrusted to him by Jesus.
The circumstances were these: King Abagaro of Edessa, who suffered from leprosy, sent word to Jesus asking Him to come and cure him. With his request, we are told, the King sent an artist to return with a picture of the Master. Impressed with his great faith. Our Lord pressed his image on a cloth and gave it to St. Jude to bring to the King of Edessa and cure him. The King was cured by St. Jude and together with most of his subjects was converted to Christianity.
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, St. Jude travelled throughout Mesopotamia for a period of ten years preaching and converting many to Christianity. He probably returned to Jerusalem for the Council of the Apostles, and then he and St. Simon visited Libya and Persia where many more converts were made,
St. Jude died a martyr's death. Tradition tells us that he was clubbed, possibly into insensibility, and his head was then shattered with a broad ax. Sometime after his death, St. Jude's body was brought to Rome and placed in a crypt under the principal altar of St. Peter's Basilica.
|ST SIMON, SURNAMED THE ZEALOT, APOSTLE|
|Feast: October 28
|[See Tillem. t. i. p. 423; also Nicetas Paphlagon in his Encomium Simoms Zelotae, Ap. published by F. Combefis in Auctar. Noviss. Bibl. Patr. t. i. p. 408, and Combefis's remarks on the Apostles
Simon and Jude, t. viii. Bibl. Concionat. p. 290; Jos. Assemani in Calend. Univ. ad 10 Maij, t. vi. p. 334.]
St Simon is surnamed the Canaanean or Canaanite, and the Zealot, to distinguish him from St. Peter, and from St. Simeon, the brother of St. James the Less, and his successor in the see of Jerusalem. From the first of these surnames some have thought that St. Simon was born at Cana, in Galilee: certain modern Greeks pretend that it was at his marriage that our Lord turned the water into wine. It is not to be doubted but he was a Galilean. Theodoret says, of the tribe either of Zabulon or Nepthali. Hammond and Grotius think that St. Simon was called the Zealot, before his coming to Christ, because he was one of that particular sect or party among the Jews called Zealots, from a singular zeal they possessed for the honour of God and the purity of religion. A party called Zealots were famous in the war of the Jews against the Romans. They were main instruments in instigating the people to shake off the yoke of subjection; they assassinated many of the nobility and others in the streets, filled the temple itself with bloodshed and other horrible profanations, and were the chief cause of the ruin of their country. But no proof is offered by which it is made to appear that any such party existed in our Saviour's time, though some then maintained that it was not lawful for a Jew to pay taxes to the Romans At least if any then took the name Zealots, they certainly neither followed the impious conduct nor adopted the false and inhuman maxims of those mentioned by Josephus in his history of the Jewish war against the Romans.
St. Simon, after his conversion, was zealous for the honour of his Master, and exact in all the duties of the Christian religion; and showed a pious indignation toward those who professed this holy faith with their mouths, but dishonoured it by the irregularity of their lives. No further mention appears of him in the gospels than that he was adopted by Christ into the college of the apostles. With the rest he received the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, which he afterwards exercised with great zeal and fidelity. If this apostle preached in Egypt, Cyrene, and Mauritania, he returned into the East; for the Martyrologies of St. Jerome, Bede, Ado, and Usuard place his martyrdom in Persia, at a city called Suanir, possibly in the country of the Suani, a people in Colchis, or a little higher in Sarmatia, then allied with the Parthians in Persia; which may agree with a passage in the Acts of St. Andrew, that in the Cimmerian Bosphorus there was a tomb in a "rot, with an inscription importing that Simon the Zealot was interred there. His death is said in these Martyrologies to have been procured by the idolatrous priests. Those who mention the manner of his death say he was crucified. St. Peter's Church on the Vatican at Rome and the Cathedral of Toulouse are said to possess the chief portions of the relics of SS. Simon and Jude.1
(Taken from Vol. III of "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler.)
1 See Florentinius in Martyr. St. Hieron, p. 176, Saussaye, Mart. Gallic. ad 28 Oct.
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I Named my second son Jude Thaddeus.
Jude is so named by Luke and Acts. Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. He is not mentioned elsewhere in the Gospels, except, of course, where all the apostles are referred to. Scholars hold that he is not the author of the Letter of Jude. Actually, Jude had the same name as Judas Iscariot. Evidently because of the disgrace of that name, it was shortened to "Jude" in English.
Simon is mentioned on all four lists of the apostles. On two of them he is called "the Zealot." The Zealots were a Jewish sect that represented an extreme of Jewish nationalism. For them, the messianic promise of the Old Testament meant that the Jews were to be a free and independent nation. God alone was their king, and any payment of taxes to the Romansthe very domination of the Romanswas a blasphemy against God. No doubt some of the Zealots were the spiritual heirs of the Maccabees, carrying on their ideals of religion and independence. But many were the counterparts of modern terrorists. They raided and killed, attacking both foreigners and "collaborating" Jews. They were chiefly responsible for the rebellion against Rome which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
As in the case of all the apostles except for Peter, James and John, we are faced with men who are really unknown, and we are struck by the fact that their holiness is simply taken to be a gift of Christ. He chose some unlikely people: a former Zealot, a former (crooked) tax collector, an impetuous fisherman, two "sons of thunder" and a man named Judas Iscariot.
It is a reminder that we cannot receive too often. Holiness does not depend on human merit, culture, personality, effort or achievement. It is entirely God's creation and gift. God needs no Zealots to bring about the kingdom by force. Jude, like all the saints, is the saint of the impossible: only God can create his divine life in human beings. And God wills to do so, for all of us.
"Just as Christ was sent by the Father, so also he sent the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. This he did so that, by preaching the gospel to every creature (cf. Mark 16:15), they might proclaim that the Son of God, by his death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan (cf. Acts 26:18) and from death, and brought us into the kingdom of his Father" (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy).
O St. Jude Thaddeus,
O saint we turn to when times are desparate,
O saint whose intercession comforts those in great need,
Pray for us, St. Jude,
in this desperate crossroads our country faces,
ST. Jude, pray for us
that those who despise the cause of life
and embrace the ways of death
may not gain the day this election cycle.
St. Jude, pray for us
that those who would tear our country apart
to gain power for wicked purposes
will find the hand of God deciding the issue.
St. Jude, pray for us
that our country remain safe
from those who would destroy this country
in the name of God
for evil reasons.
St. Jude, pray for us
that we may shed the light of God
and spread the message of Jesus
day by day into the lives of those whose lives
and we especially pray
that we may grow closer to our Lord
each and every day.
O St. Jude,
special patron of mine
who has helped me in my time of need
remember us now,
"They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, and the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God." [John 16]
BTTT on the Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles, 10-28-06!
Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
Apostle Saint Simon
1606 - Oil on canvas
Museo del Greco, Toledo
Apostle Saint Thaddeus (Jude)
1606 - Oil on canvas
Museo del Greco, Toledo
Saint Simon is usually called "the Zealot" (Lk 6:15), probably because he belonged to the Jewish party of the "Zealous of the Law". Jude, also called Thaddeus or "Courageous", is the disputed author of a short epistle in the New testament. Tradition has it that they preached in Mesopotamia and Persia and there were martyred. Their names appear in the Roman Canon.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
you revealed yourself to us
through the preaching of your apostles Simon and Jude.
By their prayers,
give your Church continued growth
and increase the number of those who believe in you.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
First Reading: Ephesians 2:19-22
So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Gospel Reading: Luke 6:12-19
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles; Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all.
from A Book of Feasts and Seasons, by Joanna Bogle
Saint Jude Novena
To Saint Jude, 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 us and all who invoke your aid. Amen.
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