Prayer for the Intercession of
October 25, 1992
Brother John Raymond
In writing about St. Jude, the Patron of difficult or hopeless
cases, we had to invoke his help. There seemed to be no detailed
account of him. But St. Jude interceded and two people provided
enough information to write about him.
St. Jude was one of the twelve apostles of Our Lord. In the
Gospel narrative for Holy Thursday we have a question posed by St.
Jude, "Lord, how is it that You are about to manifest Yourself to
us, and not to the world?" (John 14:22). This question was asked
after Jesus had said, "He that has My commandments, and keeps them,
he it is who loves Me. But he who loves Me will be loved by My
Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (John
From the Gospels we can infer that St. Jude was a relative of
Jesus. As we know the word brother for the Jews meant any close male
relative. So St. Jude may have been a cousin of Jesus for we read
"Is not this the Carpenter, the Son of Mary, the brother of James,
Joseph, Jude and Simon?" (Mark 6:3; see also Matt. 13:55).
The name Jude, however, became a difficulty after the betrayal of
Judas. Jude and Judas are identical in Aramaic and Greek. The Gospel
writers Mark and Matthew may have referred to Jude as "Thaddeus."
After Pentecost little is known of St. Jude. One legend, written
in the year 325 A.D. by Bishop Eusebius, tells of St. Jude healing
King Abgar of Edessa in Mesopotamia. St. Jude healed the king of
leprosy. Also we are told that people of the kingdom were converted
by him to the Faith.
Many sources point to St. Jude joining St. Simon, the apostle, in
evangelizing the Persian Empire. One legend tells us that Babylonia,
which was part of Persia, was at war with India. The general of the
Babylonian army asked his magicians to consult the gods about the
outcome of an impending battle. They answered that it would be a
fierce fight. The general knew of the Apostles Jude and Simon along
with their miraculous healing power. He asked them the same
question. They responded that he was not to worry because the Indian
army would petition for peace. The general, confused over the
opposing predictions, had both the magicians and Apostles thrown in
jail awaiting the outcome of the battle. The Apostles' prediction
came true. The general sentenced the magicians to death. But the
Apostles interceded with the general and he spared their lives. From
their preaching and healing the Apostles converted many in
Babylonia, even the king himself.
Both St. Jude and St. Simon were martyred somewhere in Persia.
They were clubbed and then beheaded. The relics of both martyrs are
kept in St. Peter's in Rome.
St. Jude wrote an epistle which is the next to last book of the
New Testament. This letter warns against the heresy of Gnosticism
(which taught that all matter is evil, Jesus was an intermediary of
God with the material universe and only knowledge can save men) and
pleads with the Christians to keep the faith, fight temptation and
Their was little devotion to St. Jude until the Middle Ages. St.
Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153), a great saint of the twelfth
century, had devotion to St. Jude. St. Bridget of Sweden, in the
fourteenth century, was told by Our Lord in a vision to dedicate an
altar to St. Jude. Jesus told her to pray to St. Jude because, "in
accordance with his surname, Thaddeus (meaning generous or loving),
he will show himself most willing to give help."
St. Jude's popularity again disappeared until the 19th century.
Devotion to him started in Italy and Spain, spread to South America
and finally reached the United States. Today Shrines to St. Jude can
be found in Jersey City, Baltimore and Chicago. (For more
information on each of these Shrines and what they offer write to:
Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, 1909 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, Ill.
60608 or St. Jude Shrine, St. John the Baptist Church, Baltimore,
Maryland 21201 tel. 301-685-3063 or Shrine of St. Jude, 183 Bayview
Ave., Jersey City, New Jersey 07305 or National Shrine of St. Jude,
221 W. Madison St., Chicago, Illinois 60606)
Danny Thomas, the famous entertainer, was one of the many who
have received help from St. Jude. At the beginning of his career he
was in a desperate situation. The place where he worked as an
entertainer was going out of business. His wife begged him to switch
to a more stable occupation. They had a new born baby to care for. A
few days before the business closed a man walked in all excited. He
began handing out holy cards to everyone there. He had just spent
all night at the hospital praying to St. Jude for his wife who had
cancer. In the morning the doctors told him that the cancer had just
The next day Danny vowed to St. Jude that he would build him a
shrine if he helped him. He felt inspired to go to Chicago and he
went from success to success. Unfortunately he forgot about his vow.
Some time later he came across a pamphlet about St. Jude from the
National Shrine. He realized then why Chicago had become his town of
success! So he prayed about what kind of shrine to build. Then in a
dream he saw a boy injured in a car accident and for some reason the
doctors did not want to treat him. The boy bled to death.
This dream inspired Danny to collect money for the a hospital
dedicated to St. Jude. It would be open to children with "hopelessly
incurable" diseases of all faiths with no charge for services. After
ten years of begging St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital was
built in Memphis, Tennesse.
Let us especially invoke St. Jude on his feast day, October 28th.
Prayer to St. Jude (Can be used for a Novena)
St. Jude, glorious Apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,
the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many, but
the true Church invokes you universally as the patron of things
despaired of; pray for me, that I may receive the consolations and
the help of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and
sufferings, particularly (here make your request) and that I may
bless God with the Elect throughout Eternity.
St. Jude, Apostle, martyr and cousin of our Lord Jesus Christ,
intercede for us. Amen.