Our Patron Saint
St. Jude Thaddeus
Around the world people turn to St. Jude Thaddeus, patron saint of seemingly impossible or difficult causes, when they feel most helpless and alone. St. Jude has proven to be a true friend and a beacon of hope to those who call on him-always willing to help no matter how desperate the need.
The feast of St. Jude Thaddeus is celebrated each year on October 28.
Tradition tells us that St. Jude, also known as Thaddeus, was a brother of St. James the Less and a relative of Jesus Christ. He was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus. Images of St. Jude often include a flame around his head and also often depict St. Jude holding an image of Christ. He is also occasionally seen holding a carpenter's ruler or with a scroll and book, the Epistle of Jude.
Many Biblical scholars agree that St. Jude was a son of Clopas and his mother Mary was the cousin of the Virgin Mary. Ancient texts tell us that he preached the Gosepl 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.
Little else is known of his life but legend claims that he visited Beirut and Edessa and could have been martyred with St. Simon in Persia. There is some debate about where St. Jude died but most Biblical scholars agree that he was martyred, possibly in Armenia or Beirut. Following his death, St. Jude's body was taken to Rome and left in a crypt in St. Peter's Basilica. Today his bones can be found in the left transept of St. Peter's Basilica under the main altar of St. Joseph in a tomb he shares with the remains of the apostle Simon the Zealot.
Pilgrims came to St. Jude's grave to pray and many repoted a powerful intercession which lead to the the title, "The Saint for the Hopeless and the Despaired." Two saints, St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Bernard, had visions from God asking them to accept St. Jude as "The Patron Saint of the Impossible."
Roman Catholics invoke St. Jude when 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 causes.
Many thanks to www.catholic.org for much of the information about the background of St. Jude Thaddeus.