Not a lot is known about St. Jude’s life. But, because of the great popularity after his death, history has passed down to us the basics of his life and death. The International Shrine of St. Jude, which is for some reason located here in New Orleans, has a brief biography of the illustrious saint.
A Few Things on St. Jude
- He was one of the 12 Apostles
- His brother was James the Less.
- His father, Cleophas, was the brother of St. Joseph.
- St. Jude’s mother, Mary of Cleophas, was a cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary: their mothers were sisters.
- Jude, and his fellow apostle Bartholomew, are traditionally believed to have been the first to bring Christianity to Armenia, and are therefore venerated as the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
- St. Bernard of Clairvaux tells us that St. Jude was courageous because of his virginal purity and the courage he used to protect it.
- At the Last Supper Jesus said: “yet a little while and the world no longer sees me. But you shall se me, for I live and you shall live;” (John 14, 19). St. Jude replied, “Lord, how is it that You are to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” He was very concerned about evangelization.
- Tradition reports that after the Ascension of Jesus Christ he set about travel and evangelization. Reported are the miraculous cure of King Abagaro, ruler of Edessa, a city in Mesopotamia, and, in Persia with St. Simon, an unexpected peace for King Varardach. He won over the king and his entire court to the Catholic faith.
- St. Bridget of Sweden maintinaed a healthy devotion of prayer for the intercession of St. Jude. In a vision she was encouraged by Jesus, who told her that similar to Jude’s surname, Thaddeus (which means generous, courageous, and kind), “he will show himself to be the most willing to give you help.”
- A down and out entertainer in Tennessee invoked the intercession of St. Jude, and in thanksgiving some time later built the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital as a testament to his intercession.
Death of St. Jude
St. Jude is often depicted holding a club, to call to mind that he was eventually clubbed to death by angry pagans. The flame atop his head is a reminder that he was present at Pentecost for the descent of the Holy Spirit.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, glorified, loved and preserved now and forever. Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us, Saint Jude worker of Miracles, pray for us, Saint Jude helper and keeper of the hopeless, pray for us, Thank you Saint Jude.