Sts Simon & Jude, Apostles – 28 Oct
Apostle. Called the Cananean, Kananaios or Kananites (Matthew 10; Mark 3) and the Zealot or Zealotes (Luke 6; Acts 1) because he had zeal for the Jewish law, and to distinguish him from Saint Peter; he was not from Cana as has been stated by some authors, nor a member of the Zealot party. His name occurs in all lists of the Apostles in the Gospels and Acts. After his conversion and call to the apostleship, Simon directed his zeal and fidelity to the service of Christ. Details concerning Simon’s later life are uncertain and often confused. The Greeks, Copts, and Ethiopians identify him with Nathanael of Cana; the Abyssinians relate that he suffered crucifixion as Bishop of Jerusalem, after he had preached the gospel in Samaria, confusing him with Simeon, Bishop of Jerusalem; according to the Greeks he preached on the Black Sea, and in Egypt, Northern Africa, and even in Britain; the Latin and Armenian traditions hold that he labored in Persia. The manner and place of his death are likewise obscure; he may have died in peace at Edessa; the Latins claim that he was martyred at Suanir in Colchis; the Armenians believed that he was martyred at Weriosphora in Iberia. A cross with a saw is usually his attribute, with reference to his manner of martyrdom. No record of his tomb remains. Relics in Saint Peter’s, Rome, and at Toulouse, France. He is regarded as the patron of tanners. In the West he is venerated with Saint Jude (Thaddaeus) on 28 October; in the East separately on 10 May.
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.
Wrote the canonical Epistle named for him. 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 the traitor Judas Iscariot; not understanding the difference between the names, they never prayed for Jude’s help, and devotion to him became something of a lost cause.
St Jude was beaten to death with a club, then beheaded post-mortem in 1st century Persia. His relics are at St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy, at Rheims, France and at Toulouse, France.
Saint Jude, pray for us, and for all who invoke thy aid.