ST. JUDE THADDEUS

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Feast Day - SS Simon and Jude - 28th October

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St. Jude, the Apostle, was related to Jesus, and also to James the Less and to Simon the Zealot. He wrote one of the short Epistles. Unfortunately, devotion to him was neglected because of the similarity in name to Judas Iscariot, the traitor. For this reason Matthew and Mark called him Thaddeus.

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After the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles, Jude and Simon set off on their spectacular mission. Simon went to Persia, while Jude visited many countries, often converting kings and their whole courts. The Russians claim that it was Jude who brought Christianity to the Slavonic races. Later, he rejoined Simon, and for thirteen years they worked together in Persia and Babylon. On reaching the pagan city of Saumir, they refused to adore the false Gods and went from one idolatrous shrine to another, making the Sign of the Cross before each one. The statues crumbled and fell into dust, causing the people to wonder, but enraging the magicians, who rushed at the Apostles, cut Simon to pieces with a saw and clubbed Jude to death. This is the reason, as a sign of his martyrdom, Jude is often depicted holding a club.

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How often do we see in the media, "Grateful thanks to St. Jude"? He is the powerful intercessor for those in desperate circumstances and is proclaimed to be the "Patron of Hopeless Cases". Many have received help though his intercession and requests, considered beyond aid, have been granted.

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Luke (Ch 6) says Jude was among the twelve Jesus chose to accompany him on the occasion of the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew (10:4), names him as one of the twelve disciples whom Jesus authorised to cast out unclean spirits and heal every kind of disease and infirmity. John (14:22) reports him questioning Jesus about His farewell speech at the Last Supper. In the Acts of the Apostles (1:13-14), it is recorded that he joined in nine days of prayer (the first novena) with Our Lady and the other disciples, while awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit.