Sunday, October 28, 2007

Saint for the day - St. Jude Thaddeus


Memorial
28 October (Roman Church); 19 June (Eastern Church)

Profile
Son of Cleophas, who died a martyr, and Mary who stood at the foot of the Cross, and who annointed Christ's body after death. Brother of Saint James the Lesser. Nephew of Mary and Joseph; blood relative of Jesus Christ, and reported to look a lot like him. May have been a fisherman. Apostle.

Writer of canonical letter. Preached in Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia with Saint Simon. Healer. Exorcist. Could exorcise pagan idols, which caused the demons to flee and the statues to crumble.

His patronage of lost or impossible causes traditionally derives from confusion by many early Christians between Jude and Judas; not understanding the difference between the names, they never prayed for Jude's help, and devotion to him became something of a lost cause.

Died
beaten to death with a club, then beheaded post-mortem in 1st century Persia; relics at Saint Peter's, Rome, at Rheims, and at Toulouse, France

Name Meaning
sweetness or gentleness of character (Thaddeus)

Patronage
desperate situations; forgotten causes; hospital workers; hospitals; impossible causes; lost causes diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida

Representation
axe; bearded man holding an oar; boat; boat hook; book; club; square rule; sword; nearly every image depicts him wearing a medallion with a profile of Jesus, and usually with a small flame above his head; often carries a pen or sits at a writing location to make reference to the canonical Epistle