Saint Jude, also known as Thaddeus, was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. He is credited with authoring the Letter of Jude, which is among the shorter books of the Bible. Saint Jude is believed to have suffered martyrdom in Beirut, Lebanon, around 65 AD. Iconography often portrays him holding a club or axe, symbolizing the manner of his death, and with a flame above his head, representing the occasion of Pentecost.
Despite his limited mentions in the Bible, Saint Jude has garnered significant popularity among contemporary Catholics. This admiration is primarily attributed to his patronage of seemingly hopeless causes. The association of Saint Jude with lost causes originates from an incident during his time in the city of Edessa.
Historical accounts, such as those by Eusebius, an ancient church historian, recount that during Jesus’ lifetime, Abgar V, the ruler of Edessa, suffered from an incurable and agonizing ailment. Having heard of Jesus’ miraculous deeds, Abgar wrote a letter requesting a visit from him. Jesus replied that one of his disciples would be sent instead. Subsequent to Jesus’ Ascension, Saint Jude arrived in Edessa to spread the teachings of Christianity and subsequently paid a visit to Abgar. By laying his hands on the ailing ruler, Saint Jude miraculously healed him.
Many individuals find solace and seek assistance in times of distress and healing by carrying a depiction of Saint Jude on a medal or as a pendant worn on a necklace.
A Prayer to St. Jude
Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He brings 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 here)- and that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.