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Did you know? St. Jude

Did you know these awesome things about St. Jude Thaddeus and our devotion to him?

1. Aaron Neville's earring is a St. Jude medal. Neville, the famous New Orleans R&B singer, has been devoted to St. Jude throughout his career. 

Neville credits St. Jude with his success and survival, even through Hurricane Katrina. 

2. Speaking of earrings, what is that righteous bling St. Jude is wearing? As in the image below, artists typically depict St. Jude as wearing a large coin around his neck:

It's the Image of Edessa. Like Veronica's Veil or the Shroud of Turn, the Image of Edessa is a cloth which bears the image of Christ's face.

According to tradition, King Abgar of Edessa wrote a letter to our Lord Jesus Christ, asking Christ to cure him. King Abgar received an letter in reply from Jesus declining the invitation, but promising a future visit by one of his Apostles. That Apostle turned out to be Saint Jude Thaddeus. Catholic author Taylor Marshall has provided a write-up detailing the historical authenticity and provenance of the image. 

The image is also called the Holy Mandylion. Where is it today? Unfortunately, it was lost in the 1204AD sack of Constantinople. However! There are rumors that the Image of Edessa was merely the Shroud of Turin that had been folded to show only Christ's face ... interesting.

3. St. Jude is the official patron saint of the Rio de Janeiro soccer/football team, the Clube de Regatas do FlamengoHe is also the patron saint of the Chicago Police Department. 

4. The Novena to St. Jude is widely-considered the most powerful novena, apart from those of St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother. 
Why is this? The three individuals named above are part of Jesus' own family. See more below. Also, here's a link to the novena.

5. St. Jude was related to Jesus through both St. Joseph AND the Blessed Mother! Double cousins!
St. Jude, the brother of St. James the Lesser, was a son of Clopas. There is an early chronicler  of the Church, Saint Hegesippus (110-180AD), who describes Clopas as the brother of Saint Joseph.
The Second Mary, St. Jude's mother, is depicted
here at the back with hands raised in dismay by
Caravaggio, The Entombment of Christ. 

St. Jude's mother Mary was the Virgin Mary's cousin. The Gospel of John, which also includes St. Jude's only line in the Gospels, describes Jude's mother as standing beside her "sister," the Blessed Mother, as well as Mary Magdalene at the Crucifixion.  

6. St. Jude, the Bane of Magicians. 

The story goes that a Persian general consulted his magicians before deciding whether to wage war against India. The magicians "divined" that the war would be long and cause much suffering. The Persian general next consulted St. Jude, who prophesied that India would quickly sue for peace if the general went to war with them. Guess who turned out to be right? After India quickly sought peace, the general put the magicians to death. 

If only the story ended there ... St. Jude and the Apostles intervened on behalf of the magicians and the general spared their lives. In repayment, the grateful magicians ambushed St. Jude and Simon the Zealot as they were leaving. St. Jude was then hacked to death with a hatchet. 

The bodies of the two saints were taken to Rome and entombed in St. Peter's Basilica under the main altar of St. Joseph. 

7. Why do we ask for St. Jude's prayers in desperate situations? Two saints, St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Bernard, both had visions from God regarding St. Jude, and his later popularity derives mostly in part from this. Through these saints, God implored us to call on St. Jude as "The Patron Saint of the Impossible."

There's also what St. Jude instructed of us in his New Testament Epistle: "Grow strong in your holy faith through prayer in the Holy Spirit. Persevere in God’s love, and welcome the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ which leads to life eternal.  Correct those are confused; the others you must rescue, snatching them from the fire" (verses 20-22).

8. St. Jude only spoke once in the Gospels, and Jesus ignored him. Wow, how much more humble can you get? In John 14:22, St. Jude asks during the Lord's Supper, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" Jesus answers at Verse 23, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." Jesus seemed not to answer St. Jude then, but instead to bless the humble saint with an answer in the fullness of time. Ever since, Jesus has been manifesting Himself to the world through St. Jude -- the ordinary saint made extraordinary. Just look upon the works of the St. Jude Children's Hospital! 

9. Speaking of St. Jude Children's Hospital, it was founded by Danny Thomas. Danny Thomas' famous prayer to St. Jude went like this: "Show me my way in life and I will build you a shrine." Thomas would say at the hospital's opening on February 4, 1962 the following:
It took a rabble-rousing, hook-nosed comedian to get your attention, but it took your hearts and your loving minds and your generous souls to make this fabulous dream come true.... If I were to die this minute, I would know why I was born.

When Thomas was still just a struggling young entertainer with a baby on the way, he was so moved during the Mass that he placed his last $7 in the collection box. When he realized what he’d done, Thomas prayed for a way to pay the looming hospital bills. The very next day, he was offered a part that would pay 10 times the amount he’d given to the church. 

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