From your Pastor
Today, I wanted to draw your attention to the latest addition to the spiritual bounty of our church – an Italian-made, hand-carved, statue of St. Jude the Apostle. I have temporarily placed him on a pillar in the sanctuary for everyone to view. He is the gift of Mr. Ed Freise in memory of his father, and is intended to serve as an aid to prayer and an intercessor to anyone in our parish in need. I have included a short biography and prayer to St. Jude below.
St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Less, and a relative of Our Savior. He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus and his attribute is a club. Images of St. Jude often include a flame around his head, which represent his presence at Pentecost, another attribute is St. Jude holding an image of Christ, sometimes he can also be seen holding a carpenter’s ruler or is depicted with a scroll or book, the Epistle of Jude. Biblical scholars agree St. Jude was a son of Clopas and his mother Mary was the Virgin Mary’s cousin. Ancient writers tell us that he preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Libya. Saint Jude was the disciple who asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He would not manifest Himself to the whole world after His resurrection. Little else is known of his life. He is an author of an epistle (letter) to the Churches of the East, particularly the Jewish converts, directed against the heresies of the Simonians, Nicolaitians, and Gnostics. There is some debate about where Jude died, though most Biblical scholars agree he was martyred, likely in either in Armenia or Beirut. Following his death, St. Jude’s body was brought 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 reported a powerful intercession, leading to 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 cases.1 The following is a prayer to St. Jude:
Most holy Apostle, Saint Jude Thaddeus, friend of Jesus, I place myself in your care at this difficult time. Help me know that I need not face my troubles alone. Please join me in my need, asking God to send me: consolation in my sorrow, courage in my fear, and healing in the midst of my suffering. Ask our loving Lord to fill me with the grace to accept whatever may lie ahead for me and my loved ones, and to strengthen my faith in God’s healing powers. Thank you, Saint Jude Thaddeus, for the promise of hope you hold out to all who believe, and inspire me to give this gift of hope to others as it has been given to me.
V. Saint Jude, Apostle of Hope
R. Pray for us!
Have a blessed week!