JUDE THE OBSCURE
Simon and Jude were named among the twelve apostles in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Simon is called 'the Zealot', probably because he belonged to a nationalist resistance movement opposing the Roman occupation forces. There is no indication in the gospels whether Simon moved from the Zealot party to be a follower of Christ or, on the other hand, if after the resurrection he became a supporter of that group, seeing it as a response to God's call to proclaim the kingdom.
According to Luke’s Gospel, Jude was the brother of the apostle St. James the Lesser. Apparently both were related to Jesus as distant cousins. Jude is credited as the author of the brief Epistle of St. Jude, and for that reason he is depicted in iconography as carrying the scroll of his Epistle.
It is believed that Jude was born in Caesarea Philippi,
and that by occupation he was a farmer.
Tradition has it that Jude and his fellow apostle Simon, carried the Gospel message to Persia, where they were not well received, and there met a martyr’s death.
Most commonly, the iconography of St. Jude shows him wearing a medal or strip of cloth on his chest with the face of Christ imprinted on it. The story behind this -
Abgar, King of Edessa (in present-day Turkey) was stricken with a serious illness, possible leprosy. Hearing of Christ who had healed many lepers, he sent for St. Jude. It would appear that Jude had in his possession the cloth known then as "The Mandylion" bearing an imprint on the fabric of the face of the Risen Christ. The Mandylion was brought to Abgar, who was then cured of his leprosy. Abgar, accorded the image a place of honour in his palace.
The Mandylion was so highly venerated there that after the Byzantine Emperor transferred it to the Royal Palace in Constantinople in 944, it was always carried into battle to assure victory for the Emperor’s army and navy. It remained in Constantinople until the invasion of the Venetians in 1204, when the Mandylion was transferred to the West, and is possibly what we now know as the Holy Shroud of Turin.
Owing to the similarity of his name to that of Judas Iscariot, Jude was rarely invoked in prayer and it seems likely that because of this, interceding through him was seen as a final resort when all else failed. He became known, therefore, as the patron saint of lost causes.
The two apostles, Simon and Jude, are joined together on this day because a church, which had recently acquired their relics, was dedicated to their memory in Rome in the seventh century.
TRUST - From Psalm 31
In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag
and my stronghold; for the sake of your name,
lead me and guide me.
Take me out of the net
that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength.
Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.
COLLECT: O God, we thank you for the glorious company of the apostles,
and especially on this day for Simon and Jude;
and we pray that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission,
so we may with ardent devotion make known
the love and mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
You, dear friends, must build up your lives ever more strongly
upon the foundation of our holy faith,
learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.
Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you.
Wait patiently for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ
in his mercy is going to give you.
Try to help those who argue against you.
Be merciful to those who doubt.
Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself.
And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them,
but be careful that you yourselves aren’t pulled along into their sins.
Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners.
And now—all glory to him who alone is God,
who saves us through Jesus Christ our Lord;
yes, splendour and majesty,
all power and authority are his from the beginning;
his they are and his they evermore shall be.
And he is able to keep you from slipping and falling away,
and to bring you, sinless and perfect,
into his glorious presence
with mighty shouts of everlasting joy.
"During my time as an Anaesthetic Sister in the Operating Theatres of R.H.C.H
St Jude played a very large part.
I worked for an Irish Catholic Theatre Superintendent
who used to gather us all together before the day’s work began
to ask St Jude's prayers. She used to ask St Jude to help us all get through the day
because we were all “Hopeless Cases!”
The days were long, chaotic & very demanding as you can imagine,
but we got through them saving many lives & hopefully prolonging many others. Whether this was due to the prayerful intervention of St Jude or not,
I will leave you to ponder!
The Superintendent thought us “Hopeless”,
as we never came up to her exacting standards of perfection.
God on the other hand never thinks of us as hopeless
even when we fall far short of serving Him.
He is always there to help & support, guide & nurse, encourage & reward us.
He sent his Son Jesus to show us the way & the Holy Spirit to guide us.
St Jude knew this for himself as he went about his daily life as an Apostle of Jesus.
I like to think of St Jude not as the Patron Saint of “Lost Causes” & “Hopeless Cases”, but of someone just like us,
trying to pass on the wonderful message God has given us through Jesus, -
that of Hope & Love.
Saint Jude - just an ordinary man doing extraordinary things
through the power of God.
Perhaps the Superintendent was right after all,
St Jude was watching over our patients & us, praying for us all."
I have no idea who wrote this lovely piece!
Take from me the tension that makes peace impossible.
Take from me the fears that do not allow me to venture.
Take from me the worries that bring me paralysis.
Take from me the distress that hides your joy.
Help me to know
that I am with you,
that I am in your care,
that I am in your love,
that you and I are one.
written by David Adam in “The Open Gate” SPCK 1999
pray for us
to do whatever we can
to lessen the sufferings of humanity.
Encourage each of us
to rest our own pain and grief
in God's Hands,
and to not cease
from righteous anger,
and appropriate action
and neglect exists.
Trust in God, let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you;
all things pass:
God never changes.
May the unchanging God bless you,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Saint Teresa of Avila