St Jude, apostle

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St Jude, apostle

(Feast: October 28)

At the Last Supper it is St Jude who asks Jesus why He would choose to manifest Himself after His resurrection only to those who loved Him and not the whole world. (Jn 14:22)

Son of Cleophas who was brother of St Joseph and one of the two disciples to whom our Lord appeared on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:17), Jude’s mother Mary Cleophas is one of the holy women who stood at the foot of the Cross on Calvary (John 19:25).

Though a relative of Jesus, in his brief epistle the saint records himself simply as “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James” and urges faith in apostolic teachings in the midst of heresies through fraternal charity, prayer, and loving obedience to God.

Confused by the faithful for Judas Iscariot, tradition holds that St Bridget and St Bernard were inspired in their devotion to St Jude when Christ directed them in a vision to turn to him with great faith and confidence - ‘The Patron Saint of the Impossible’.

His remains are interred in the left transept of St Peter’s Basilica under the main altar of St Joseph with those of the apostle Simon the Zealot. Pope Paul III granted a plenary indulgence to those who visit the Basilica on his Feast Day.

Represented in sacred art with the flame of Pentecost above his head and sometimes bearing an image of Christ’s face, he holds a club as the sign of his martyrdom and a scroll bearing the words of his epistle: “Strive manfully for the faith once delivered unto the Saints.”

I promise thee, O blessed St Jude, to be ever mindful of your great favor, and I will never cease to honor thee and to do all in my power to encourage devotion to thee.

By Michael McKenna, Director, Office of Liturgy