The Story of St. Jude Thaddeus

The origin of devotion to St. Jude as the patron of impossible causes are nearly as obscure as details of the life of the great Apostle,
but devotion to St. Jude has never been more popular than today.

Jesus inspired devotion to St. Jude when he directed St. Bridgit of Sweden to turn to St. Jude with great faith and confidence.  In accordance with his surname, Thaddeus, (which means generous, courageous, kind) Our Lord said, "He will show himself most willing to give help."

The renowned St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who died in 1153 and who was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1830, is reputed to have had a strong personal dedication to St. Jude.

The Gospel tells us that St. Jude was a brother of St. James the Less, also one of the twelve.  They are described by St. Matthew (13:55) as the "brethren" of Jesus, probably cousins. The Hebrew word for "brethren" indicates a blood relationship.  His mother, Mary, was a cousin of the Blessed Mother.

St. Jude is traditionally depicted carrying the image of Jesus in his hand.  This represents the imprint of the divine Countenance that was entrusted to him by Jesus.  Impressed with Abagar's great faith, Our Lord pressed his face on a cloth and gave it to St. Jude to take to Abagar and cure him.  The King was cured and converted to Christianity along with most of his subjects.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, St. Jude traveled throughout Mesopotamia, Libya, and Persia with St. Simon preaching and converting many to Christianity.
St. Jude died a martyr's death.  Later, his body was brought to Rome and placed in a crypt under St. Peter's Basilica.

Today, millions of people around the world turn to St. Jude, patron saint of seemingly impossible or difficult causes, when they feel most helpless and alone.  St. Jude has proven to be a true friend and a beacon of hope to those who call on him.

Prayer to St. Jude.    Can also be said as a Novena for nine consecutive days.

Most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,
the Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of hopeless cases,
of things almost despaired of.  Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Make use I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you,
to 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  (here make your request) that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.
I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor,
to always honor you as my special and powerful patron,
and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.   Amen.

Source: Claretians, National Shrine of St. Jude