Saint Jude Thaddeus, also known as San Judas, is the Patron Saint of Impossible Causes, Desperate Situations, and Hope. A cousin of Jesus, Jude was a faithful servant and devout follower of Catholicism. A farmer by trade, his deep faith led him to be called one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus. The name Jude means ‘giver of joy’ and Thaddeus means ‘generous and kind’. A fitting name for a man as beloved as he.
Jude traveled throughout Mesopotamia, Persia, Turkey, and Libya spreading the gospel of Jesus. Through his journeys, he preached passionately to those disciples who had recently converted to Christianity, urging them to remain loyal and brave to that which they believed. He was known as a powerful motivator who instilled a sense of comfort and optimism as he spoke. The unwavering faith and unconditional support that he showed to his followers led him to become the patron saint of desperate causes.
The Image of St. Jude
Traditionally depicted in flowing robes and carrying an image of Jesus, the symbol of Saint Jude is evocative of the life he led. The Bible tells that Jude delivered a picture of Jesus to the King of Edessa, who was afflicted with leprosy, as a get-well token. The picture was actually a cloth that Jesus had pressed his face into. Upon receiving the cloth and seeing Jesus’ image, the king was miraculously cured. He credited Saint Jude with his recovery and word spread of Jude’s abilities to heal the sick.
In addition to the illustration of Jesus that he holds, Saint Jude is also shown with a flame burning above his head. This flame denotes that Jude was present at Pentecost, where he, along with the other Apostles, received the Holy Spirit. Light a Saint Jude Prayer Candle to commemorate this sacred event.
The club or pole that Saint Jude carries is a reference to the way in which he died. It is believed that he was martyred for his beliefs and was caned to death in Persia. He is buried in a crypt beneath Saint Peter’s Basilica. After his death, pilgrims came to pay their respects to him. Many of his followers reported receiving powerful messages and healing as they prayed to him. These miracles added to the lore surrounding St. Jude’s gifts.
Praying to St. Jude
Today, more than ever, people seek comfort and guidance from this saint. The worries and demands that are placed on us can often seem too much to bear. That is what is so awe-inspiring about Saint Jude. No dilemma is too difficult to place on his shoulders and no trouble is too great to ask for his assistance with. Pay special homage to St. Jude on his feast day, October 28.
When invoking St. Jude, start by cleansing your home with a white sage smudge stick or juniper smudge stick. Light a 7 Day St. Jude candle and anoint a St. Jude prayer card with St. Jude oil. Clear your mind and focus your intentions on your desired goal. Recite the following prayer:
Most holy Apostle, Saint 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 bring 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.
Carry a St. Jude medal, St. Jude talisman, or St. Jude bracelet with you to petition this patron saint of the impossible. Wear St. Jude perfume to receive help with issues that require an urgent response. Lighting St. Jude incense is another way to feel connected to his healing energy. This beacon of hope is always willing to help, no matter how desperate the need is.