ST. JUDE (THADDEUS), APOSTLE
The Church’s Year of Grace for 2018 is drawing to its close and the chief thought which the Church’s liturgy puts before us in these last weeks is the glorious Second Advent of Christ. The Feast of the Kingship of Christ (today in the 1962 Missal, the Last Sunday of the Year in the 1970 Missal) anticipates the definitive, absolute triumph of Christ at the end of Time. The Feast of All Saints on November 1st celebrates the Church of the Heavenly Jerusalem.
On the Calendar of Saints today is also the Feast of two of the Twelve Holy Apostles: SS. Simon and Jude. Their Feast is not commemorated this year, however, because it falls on Sunday.
In Catholic devotion St. Jude retains a beloved place as the “Saint of the Impossible”, on account of the proven power of his prayers on behalf of those who invoke him with humble faith.
St. Jude was a brother to the Apostle James the Less, a relative of Jesus. His mother was Mary, a sister or cousin of the Blessed Virgin; his father Alphaeus was related to St. Joseph. One of the seven “Catholic Letters” in the New Testament was written by St. Jude. Popular devotion honors him as the helper in ‘hopeless cases’. Simon and Jude first preached the Gospel in countries widely distant from one another, Simon in Egypt and Jude in Mesopotamia. It is said that later both went to Persia and after extensive missionary work were put to death for the faith. (Pius Parsch, The Church’s Year of Grace, Vol V, A.D. 1958)
A beautiful prayer to St. Jude is found in the Raccolta:
O glorious Saint Jude Thaddeus, by those sublime prerogatives, wherewith thou was ennobled in thy lifetime, namely, thy kinship with Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh, and thy vocation to be an Apostle; by that glory which now is thine in heaven as the reward of thine apostolic labors and thy martyrdom: obtain for us from the Giver of every good and perfect gift all the graces whereof we stand in need in order to treasure up in our hearts the divinely inspired doctrines which thou has transmitted to us in thy Epistle; that is to say, to build our edifice of perfection upon our most holy faith, praying by the grace of the Holy Spirit; to keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of Jesus Christ unto eternal life; to strive by all means to help them that go astray; exalting thus the glory and majesty, the dominion and power of Him who is able to keep us without sin and to present us spotless with exceeding joy at the coming of our divine Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
We are well aware indeed of our helplessness in the face of the larger forces governing over us. What consolation indeed to know that we have recourse to the Saints who are now eternally happy in heaven, whose own wills are freely and fully aligned with the divine will, and who are so eager to do us good in order that we may join them in the New and Eternal Jerusalem.