He’s the one many of us turn to in times of great peril or problems that seem to have no solution, and as many of us have successfully experienced, our prayers are answered more than often. SpiritualRay tells you all about St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes in this article.
To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, Power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come, Amen.
― Jude 24-25
Each and every one of us has at some time or the other faced a problem to which there seemed no possible solution. Someone you knew was battling a serious illness, a relative in the army was going off to fight a war, debts were sneakily making your life their ground, or you felt alone, and lost because your relationships had taken a turn for the worse. It doesn’t matter if others were unable to see the gravity of your situation, it was enough to make you ponder and obsess until you felt there was no way out.
At such times, however, it is really necessary to believe and trust that even though you cannot see a way out of this mess, God can. Praying is a wonderful method of asking for divine assistance, as well as reassuring yourself that there is light at the end of the tunnel. For those who don’t know, when one finds himself in times of peril, St. Jude is the one who is turned to for help as he is the patron saint of desperate and impossible causes. However, you may be wondering, who exactly is St. Jude, and why has he been named the patron saint of lost causes?
Facts About St. Jude
Unfortunately, not much is recorded about the life of St. Jude Thaddeus that we know. However, we have compiled quite some information about him for you.
✦ St. Jude, also known as St. Jude Thaddeus, was one of the twelve apostles (disciples) of Jesus Christ. His name, ‘Jude’ actually means ‘the giver of joy’, while his last name, ‘Thaddeus’, means ‘kind, amiable.’ Some experts opine that he was given this last name in order to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot.
✦ St. Jude was the brother of St. James the Less, as well as a cousin of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Matthew describes the two brothers as being the ‘brethren’ of Jesus, which could possibly mean that they were His cousins.
✦ For a long time, St. Jude was confused with Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus. St. Jude is mentioned in the Gospel of John as Judas not Iscariot. He is also not to be confused with Thaddeus of Edessa, who was one of the seventy disciples sent by Jesus to proclaim the Kingdom of God.
✦ St. Jude is generally pictured in green and white clothing, befitting the Biblical era, wearing and holding a gold medallion with an image of Jesus that signifies his relationship with the Lord, and a staff. Sometimes, he is also portrayed with a small flame on top of his head that signifies the Baptism by Fire that was received by the apostles of Jesus at Pentecost.
✦ Ancient writings tell us that the image of Jesus on the medallion that was carried by St. Jude is related to a story of great miracles. King Abgar of Edessa was suffering from leprosy, and he prayed fervently to Jesus to cure him of his illness. The faith of King Abgar was so great that Jesus was impressed, and He pressed His face into a cloth and gave it to St. Jude, who was then supposed to present it to the King. When St. Jude arrived and King Abgar saw the image of Jesus, he was instantly cured of his disease. The King was so pleased at this that he and a lot of his family and many of his subjects converted to Christianity and became ardent followers of Jesus.
✦ St. Jude was one of the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus to spread the word of the Gospel. Experts tell us that after the death of Christ, St. Jude preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia, Libya, Judea, Syria, Idumaea, Persia, and Samaria, and was responsible for building the foundations of the early Church.
✦ St. Jude is known as the author of an epistle bearing his name, to the Churches of the East. This epistle, better known as the Scriptural Letter of Jude, urges devotees to keep their faith intact and relentlessly believe in God and His teachings, even in the toughest of times. His letter emphasizes how our forefathers have till now persevered in the most difficult circumstances, and that we should do the same.
✦ St. Jude died a martyr, though the place where he was killed is still a debated issue, as different traditions claim different stories. Ancient scriptures tell us that the apostles of Jesus, including St. Jude, were aware that they were going to die as martyrs. St. Jude did not let this deter him and his faith, and preached the Gospel far and wide. He was beaten to death, and his head was broken with an ax. His body was brought back to Rome and placed in St. Peter’s Basilica.
✦ St. Jude is the patron of impossible and lost causes because his epistle stressed upon the importance of unwavering faith. His help is asked for when all seems lost, or when one is having a hard time to adhere to faith in God. He was the one who assured believers that through their doubtless faith in Jesus, they would emerge victorious from their struggles.
✦ Ancient scriptural works tell us that it was St. Jude who asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He would not manifest Himself to the entire world after his resurrection.
✦ According to what is considered customary, one asking for help from St. Jude has to vow that if he does help, one will express his gratitude through publishing thanks in the newspaper. If you’ve scanned the newspapers quite carefully, there often are many thanks given to St. Jude by a number of people for a number of reasons. Giving thanks publicly through the newspapers helps spread hope among others who are lost.
✦ Believers who have successfully experienced the aid from St. Jude claim that help arrives at the last moment when all seems lost, and suddenly out of no way, a way is made.
✦ St. Jude shares his Feast Day with St. Simon, which falls on the 28th of October every year. On this day, his relics are enshrined at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Praying to St. Jude
Believers know that when one prays to St. Jude in times of trouble, with sincerity and complete, unwavering faith in the Lord, he does aid us in the fastest way possible. Here are a few popular versions of prayers made to St. Jude whenever one faces a seemingly unsolvable problem.
Oh glorious apostle St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered thy beloved Master into the hands of His enemies has caused thee to be forgotten by many, but the Church honors and invokes thee universally as the patron of hopeless cases–of things despaired of. Pray for me who am so miserable; make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded thee of bringing visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need, that I may receive the consolations and succor of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly (mention your request), and that I may bless God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity. I promise thee, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor thee as my special and powerful patron, and to do all in my power to encourage devotion to thee. Amen.
O Holy St Jude!
Apostle and Martyr,
great in virtue and rich in miracles,
near kinsman of Jesus Christ,
faithful intercessor for all who invoke you,
special patron in time of need;
to you I have recourse from the depth of my heart,
and humbly beg you,
to whom God has given such great power,
to come to my assistance;
help me now in my urgent need and grant my earnest petition.
I will never forget thy graces and favors you obtain for me
and I will do my utmost to spread devotion to you. Amen.
St. Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered your beloved Master to His enemies has caused you to be forgotten by many. But the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hopeless cases, of things despaired of. Pray for me who am so miserable. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege accorded to you to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly (make your request) and that I may praise God with you and all the elect throughout all eternity. I promise you, 0 blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor. I will honor you as my special and powerful patron and encourage devotion to you. St. Jude, pray for us and for all who honor and invoke your aid. AMEN.
O most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus — People honor and invoke you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, for I am so helpless and alone. Please help to bring me visible and speedy assistance. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (state your request) and that I may praise God with you always. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you by publishing this request. Amen.
Remember, if you feel you’re trapped in the dark and need divine assistance to find the light, St. Jude is always watching out for you. All you have to do, is ask.