St. Jude Shrine
The parish is blessed to have a shrine to St. Jude, one of the Twelve Apostles of the Lord. Moreover, we are also blessed to have have first class relic of St. Jude.
St. Jude Thaddeus was a martyr for the Faith. His name “Jude” means giver of joy, while “Thaddeus”, his second name means generous and kind. He is known as the patron saint of hope and impossible causes.
All Christians keep the First Commandment and adore and worship only the Most Blessed Trinity. The official theological term is latria which carries the meaning of being sacrificial worship and may be offered only to God. The theological terms hyperdulia and dulia are applied to Mary, the Mother of God and to the saints, respectively. Too often these distinctions are lost on who make the claim that we are praying to the saints. Catholic tradition is quite precise. Praying to the saints, hence, is never a substitute for praying to God, whom we acknowledge to be the creator of everything.
Our prayer to the saints is rooted in the belief that saints are our brothers and sisters who have lived, struggled in life and now enjoy the Presence of the Holy Trinity. You may say what experience now the experienced in their own life; the saints remind us that living the Gospel of Jesus Christ is possible. In our fervent prayer we ask them to remind God that it was by His grace they triumphed over life’s difficulties, AND we need that same grace today and hope for victory.
The Gospel reveals to us that St. Jude was the brother of St. James the Less, also one of the Twelve. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jude and James are known as the “brethren” of Jesus, likely the Lord’s cousins. One thing is certain, St. Jude is not to be confused with the one who betrayed Jesus, Judas Iscariot.
As an Apostle St. Jude was sent to Lebanon, Mesopotamia, Libya, Armenia and Persia with St. Simon preaching the Gospel and building up the Church. In AD 65 Jude faced death as a martyr. His bones rest at the altar of St. Joseph in St. Peter’s Basilica, in Rome with the bones of Simon the Zealot. Some sources say St Jude’s death happened around the year 80 near Mt. Ararat in Armenia, where he was crucified and pierced by arrows.
The troparion for St. Jude’s feast:
With the praise that your holy life deserves, we keep your memory today, O valiant apostle and relative of the Lord, for by your brave and courageous martyrdom, you trampled the forces of evil and deceit while preserving the faith. By your prayers, then we implore you: Obtain for us remission of our sins.
In the Byzantine Church, St. Jude’s feast day is June 19.
In the Latin and Armenian Catholic Churches, his feast day is October 28.
Pope Paul III, in a brief dated September 22, 1548, granted a plenary indulgence to all who would visit his tomb on the day commemorating his death the day of his feast.
The famous Saint Jude is NOT to be confused with the holy apostle Thaddeus was one of the Seventy, whose feast day is August 21. Thaddeus came from a Jewish family in the city of Edessa, and was a disciple of St. John the Baptist-Precursor. At the direction of the Apostle Thomas, Thaddeus was sent to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Syria and Phoenicia, and fell asleep peacefully in the Lord in Beirut in AD 44. (Some sources say he died by martyrdom in Edessa).
The shrine is open for prayer seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
In 2022, Michael Foley wrote on the New Liturgical Movement blog that “…Jude is a patron of Armenia, but he is most famous for being the patron saint of desperate or hopeless causes, possibly because his name was so similar to that of the traitor Judas Iscariot that people would not pray to the “forgotten apostle” unless all else had failed! The patronage itself is relatively recent, dating back to 1929 when a Father James Tort encouraged the devotion among his parishioners in southeast Chicago, most of whom were laid-off steelworkers. The devotion grew rapidly; on the final night of a solemn novena held on St. Jude’s feast, there was an overflow crowd outside the church. The next day, the stock market crashed, and soon more Americans were turning to St. Jude during the Great Depression and World War II.
“Father Tort also organized the Police Branch of the League of St. Jude in 1932; to this day, Jude is the official patron of the Chicago Police Department. And because, it is conjectured, many a person feels desperate or hopeless when hospitalized, Jude is also the patron of hospital workers and the hospitalized. Either that, or because of another client of St. Jude, to whom we now turn.”
“Amos Muzyad Yaqoob Kairouz was a faithful Maronite Catholic, who is better known as the actor and entertainer Danny Thomas. Thomas was down on his luck when he remembered how a stagehand had praised St. Jude for miraculously curing his wife of cancer. A devout Catholic who went to Sunday 6:00 a.m. Mass on his way home from performing all night in a New York club on Saturday night, Thomas prayed to St. Jude and promised him that he would do “something big” if St. Jude helped him out. Jude kept his end of the bargain, and so did Thomas, founding the world-famous St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee in 1962. It was the first fully integrated hospital in the American South, and it has gone on to transform the treatment of child cancer around the world. Thanks in large part to the physicians and scientists of St. Jude, the overall survival rates for childhood cancers have gone from 20% when the hospital opened to 80% today. “Help me find my way in life,” Danny Thomas had prayed to St. Jude, “and I will build you a shrine.” Thanks to Thomas’ gratitude and the patronage of the forgotten Apostle, some hopeless causes are looking less hopeless.”