Who is St. Jude?
The Story of St. Jude Thaddeus
The origins 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 send your petition devotion to St. Jude has never been more popular than today.
Jesus inspired devotion to St. Jude when he directed St. Bridget 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. King Abagar of Edessa asked Jesus to cure him of leprosy and sent an artist to bring him a drawing of 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.
We invite you to join in this devotion and turn to St. Jude, a faithful friend in times of difficulty.