“Faithful Friend and Follower of Jesus”
Jude Thaddeus was one of Jesus’ original twelve apostles. Saint Jude was very popular in the middle ages. However, many began to confuse Saint Jude with Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. Because of this, Saint Jude slipped into obscurity for many years.
The name Thaddeus means courageous heart, and serves as a kind of nickname for Saint Jude. It is believed that Jude was the brother of James the Less, who was also one of the apostles, and Simon the Zealot who shares Saint Jude’s feast day. It is also believed that James and Jude were Jesus’ second cousins. Most of Jude’s life is shrouded in speculation and legend and thus, nothing can be known for certain.
A Mission of Love
Our Lord appeared to both Saint Bridget of Sweden and Saint Bernard, asking them to accept Saint Jude as the “Patron Saint of the Impossible.” Jesus told Saint Brigid of Sweden:
“In accordance with his surname (last name), Thaddeus, the amiable or loving, he will show himself most willing to give help.”
Throughout his life, Jude preached the Gospel passionately even when it was very difficult. He traveled throughout Mesopotamia, Lybia, and Persia with Saint Simon the Zealot. It is believed that both Simon and Jude were martyred in either Persia or Armenia.
Saint Jude is the Patron Saint of hopeless, lost, desperate, and impossible causes. Legend has it that many people did not pray for his intercession because they were afraid of accidentally praying to Judas Iscariot. It is believed that Saint Jude was so eager to assist anyone who prayed to him that he interceded in the most impossible situations. He is usually depicted holding a club and the image of Jesus in his hands. He is also pictured with a flame on his head, which is a symbol of Pentecost. The Feast of Saint Jude (and Saint Simon) is celebrated on October 28 in Western Christianity. Eastern Christianity celebrates their feast on June 19.
“Impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles.” Jentezen Franklin