Saint Jude

Apostle Jude

Saint Jude
Saint Jude

Jude, Thaddeus, or Lebbeus, son of Alpheus or Cleophas and Mary. He was James the Younger’s younger brother. St. Jude the Apostle lived in Galilee and was one of the lesser-known Apostles. According to legend, he preached in Assyria and Persia and died as a martyr in Persia.

Jude was dubbed “Trinomious” by Jerome, which translates as “a man with three names”. In Marco 3:18, he is referred to as Thaddeus. In Matteo 10:3, he is referred to as Lebbeus. Thaddeus was his surname. He is referred to as Judas the brother of Saint James the Less in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13.

Judas Thaddeus was also known as Judas the Zealot. He was a ferocious and violent nationalist who aspired to world power and dominance for the Chosen People. According to the New Testament (John 14:22), at the Last Supper, he asked Jesus,

“But Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Judas Thaddeus was eager to make Christ known to the rest of the world. However, not as a suffering Saviour, but as a ruling King. The answer Jesus gave him clearly shows that the way of power can never be substituted for the way of love.

It is said that Jude went to Edessa, near the Euphrates River, to preach the gospel. He healed many people there, and many people believed in the name of the Master.

Jude then went on to preach the Gospel in other places. At Ararat, he was killed with arrows. The ship was chosen as his symbol because he was a missionary who was mistaken for a fisherman.

Święty Juda Tadeusz (obraz El Greca)
Święty Juda Tadeusz (obraz El Greca)

Birth & Early Life

St. Jude was born into a Jewish family in Paneas, a Galilean town that was rebuilt by the Romans and renamed Caesarea Philippi. Like almost all of his contemporaries in that area, he was most likely a farmer who spoke both Greek and Aramaic.

St. Jude was the son of Clopas and Mary, the Virgin Mary’s cousin. According to legend, Jude’s father, Clopas, was assassinated for his forthright and outspoken devotion to the risen Christ.

St. Thaddeus, St. Sandukht and other Christians in Sanatruk's prison
St. Thaddeus, St. Sandukht and other Christians in Sanatruk's prison


The apostle Jude was one of Jesus’ 12 Apostles, and his symbol is a club. A flame around Jude’s head is often depicted in images of him, representing his presence at Pentecost, when he accepted the Holy Spirit alongside the other apostles. Another feature is St. Jude holding a representation of Christ in the Image of Edessa.

He is sometimes depicted with a carpenter’s ruler or a scroll or book, possibly the Epistle of Jude. Biblical scholars agree that Jude was the son of Clopas, and his mother Mary was a cousin of the Virgin Mary.

According to ancient writers, Jude preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. He returned to Jerusalem in the year 62, according to Eusebius, and assisted in the election of his brother, St. Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem.

Jude is not the same as Giuda Iscariot, who betrayed Our Lord and became despondent as a result of his great sin and lack of faith in God’s mercy.

Jude was the one who asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He would not appear to the entire world after His resurrection. Nothing else is known about his life.

According to legend, he visited Beirut and Edessa and may have been martyred alongside St. Simon in Persia.

He is the author of an epistle (letter) to the Eastern Churches, particularly Jewish converts, addressing the heresies of the Simonians, Nicolaites, and Gnostics. Though Saint Gregory the Illuminator is known as the “Apostle to the Armenians,” the Apostles Jude and Bartholomew are credited with bringing Christianity to Armenia, where Jude was later martyred.

Buste reliquaire - St. Jude
Buste reliquaire - St. Jude

Travels and Missionary

St. Jude Thaddeus accompanied St. Simon on his journey through Libya, Turkey, Persia, and Mesopotamia. They worked together to spread the gospel and convert many people to Christianity. He is widely credited with helping to establish the Armenian Church and other congregations outside of the Roman Empire.

St. Jude wrote a letter to newly converted Christians in the Eastern Church who were being persecuted in 60 A.D. In his letter, he warned them to be wary of modern-day false teachers who spread false teachings about Christianity. He encouraged them to persevere and to remain firm in their faith in the face of the harsh realities they were confronted with.

Death & Martyrdom

Despite the widespread persecution of Christians at the time, St. Jude Thaddeus stood firm in his beliefs and eventually paid the price for his faith. He is thought to have been martyred in Persia or Syria around the year 65 A.D. In religious art, he is frequently depicted holding an axe or a club, which represents how he was martyred.

After his death, the apostle’s body was brought to Rome and interred in a crypt beneath St. Peter’s Basilica. His relics are now housed in the left transept of St. Peter’s Basilica, beneath the main altar of St. Joseph, in a tomb alongside the apostle Simon the Zealot.

Many devotees still visit the site as a mark of respect and admiration. St. Jude Thaddeus is known as the patron saint of hopeless causes and desperate situations because of his unwavering faith.

St. Jude New Phototastic Collage
Saint Jude New Phototastic Collage

What is his Legacy?

He preached the Gospel with zeal, often in the most trying of circumstances. He made a significant difference in people’s lives by offering them the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. According to the Gospel, St. Jude was a brother of St. James the Less, who was also an Apostle.

Devotion to Saint Jude today

Jude è ora considerato un santo dai cristiani di varie denominazioni, in particolare cattolici romani, ortodossi e anglicani. I santi – gli uomini e le sante donne di Dio sia in terra che in cielo – sono considerati come modelli di come seguire Gesù Cristo e come “intercessori” nella tradizione cattolica (e in altre) del cristianesimo. Poiché i santi in cielo vivono pienamente alla presenza di Dio pur rimanendo legati a quelli sulla terra da legami d'amore, presentano a Dio i nostri bisogni.

St. Jude Novena
“Apostle and Martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, near kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor for all who invoke thee, special patron in time of need; to thee, I have recourse from the depth of my heart, and humbly beg thee, to whom God hath given such great power, to come to my assistance; help me now in my urgent need and grant my earnest petition. I will never forget thy graces and the favors thou dost obtain for me and I will do my utmost to spread devotion to thee. Amen.”
St. Jude prayer card child's pencil coloring
Saint Jude prayer card child's pencil coloring

Key Takeaway

Si dice che Giuda abbia predicato il Vangelo in Giudea, Samaria, Idumea, Siria, Mesopotamia e Libia. Si dice anche che abbia visitato Beirut ed Edessa, sebbene quest'ultima missione sia attribuita a Taddeo di Edessa, uno dei Settanta. Si dice che sia morto martire insiemeSimone lo Zelotain Persia. Niceforo Callisto, scrittore del XIV secolo, fa di Giuda lo sposo alle nozze di Cana.

Sebbene San Gregorio l'Illuminatore sia accreditato come "Apostolo degli Armeni" quando battezzò il re Tiridate III d'Armenia nel 301 d.C., convertendo gli armeni, si ritiene tradizionalmente che l'apostolo Giuda e l'apostolo Bartolomeo siano stati i primi a portare il cristianesimo a Armenia e sono quindi venerati come santi patroni della Chiesa apostolica armena. Il monastero di Thaddeus è associato a questa tradizione.

Per saperne di più su Saint Jude, allora per favore leggila storia di San Giuda.


Characteristics of Saint Jude Thaddeus (also known as Judas (but not Judas the Betrayer), son of James and Lebbaeus): Thaddeus (also referred to as Saint Jude in the Catholic church) is believed to have been the nickname or surname of Judas. There is some confusion about whether Thaddeus was the brother or son of James, but it is known that they were related.

Thaddeus is known as a disciple of three names, being that he is referred to as Thaddeus, Judas, and Lebbaeus. Thaddeus was not a leader of the twelve disciples, and he is not mentioned often throughout The Bible. According to the characteristics of the 12 apostles, little is known about the character, life, and ministry of Thaddaeus. The New Testament records only one event involving Thaddeus: his question to Jesus during a message to the disciples after the Last Supper:

Saint Jude
Saint Jude

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him,

“Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?”

Gesù gli rispose e gli disse:

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him”

A skeptic

The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus’ brothers encouraged him to go perform miracles in Judea, and it suggests a reason why they wanted him to go:

Jesus’ brothers said to him, Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world. For even his brothers did not believe in him. John 7:35

One of those brothers who didn’t believe in Jesus may have been Jude. At this point in the gospel narrative, Jesus had already performed many miracles and called his disciples. So it would be a little odd for Jesus to be this far along in his ministry and still have a disciple who didn’t believe in him.

It is worth noting, though, Jesus had at least four brothers, and John doesn’t specifically say that all of them didn’t believe in him. So it’s possible that his brother Judas believed, but the others didn’t. It is also possible that Jesus’s brother Judas wasn’t the same person as Judas.

Rosary Shrine St Jude
Rosary Shrine St Jude

A Missionary

The Golden Legenda thirteenth-century text containing biographies of saints records that Judas started preaching in Mesopotamia, then partnered with Simon, the Zealot:

We also know that Thaddeus, like other disciples, preached the gospel in the years following the death of Jesus. Tradition holds that he preached in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Libya, possibly alongside Simon the Zealot. Church tradition holds that Thaddeus founded a church in Edessa and was crucified there as a martyr.


Thaddeus learned the gospel directly from Jesus and loyally served Christ despite hardship and persecution. He preached as a missionary following Jesus’ resurrection. He may have penned the book of Jude. The final two verses of Jude contain a doxology, or “expression of praise to God,” considered the finest in the New Testament.

Intense and Curious

In John 14:22, Thaddeus asked Jesus, Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large? This question uncovered a few things about Thaddeus. Number one, Thaddeus was comfortable in his relationship with Jesus, enough to stop the Lord in the middle of his teaching to ask a question.

Thaddeus was curious to know why Jesus would reveal himself to the disciples but not to the whole world. This demonstrated that Thaddeus had a compassionate heart for the world. He wanted everyone to know Jesus.


Around the year 60 A.D., St. Jude wrote a Gospel letter to recent Christian converts in Eastern churches which were under persecution. In it, he warned them against the pseudo-teachers of the day who were spreading false ideas about the early Christian faith.

He encouraged them to persevere in the face of the harsh, difficult circumstances they were in, just as their forefathers had done before them. He urged them to keep their faith and to stay in the love of God as they had been taught. His inspirational support of these early believers led to him becoming the patron saint of desperate cases.

Key Takeaway

Thaddeus was also called Judas the Zealot and was a very enthusiastic and intense individual. The only incident recorded of Judas is in John 14:22, where during Christ’s address to the disciples after the last supper he put the question.

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, Lord, what then has happened that You will disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?

Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words, and the word you hear is not Mine, but the Fathers who sent Me.

He seems to have been a follower who needed to fall in love with his Lord.

Summary Characteristics

St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Less and a relative of Our Saviour. He was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus, and his attribute is a club. Images of St. Jude often include a flame around his head, which represents his presence at Pentecost when he accepted the Holy Spirit alongside the other apostles. Another attribute is St. Jude holding an image of Christ in the Image of Edessa.

Sometimes he can also be seen holding a carpenter’s ruler or is depicted with a scroll or book, the Epistle of Jude.

Biblical scholars agree St. Jude was a son of Clopas, and his mother Mary was the Virgin Mary’s cousin. Ancient writers tell us that he preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. According to Eusebius, he returned to Jerusalem in the year 62 and assisted his brother, St. Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem.

Resources Characteristics


Facts about Saint Jude Thaddeus, Jude is known as Jude, Thaddeus, and Lebbaeus, this article shares in-depth facts about how the apostle Jude lived in obscurity as one of the Twelve. He did ask Jesus a question in John 14:22,

“Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?”

Jude seemed overly concerned with this question. Christ responded by saying He would reveal Himself to anyone who loved Him. The earliest tradition says that Judas, son of James, a few years after Pentecost, took the gospel north to Edessa. There he healed the King of Edessa, Abgar. Eusebius the historian said the archives at Edessa contained the visit of Jude and the healing of Abgar (the records have now been destroyed).

Apostle Jude Logo
Apostle Jude Logo

Facts and Symbol

The traditional symbol of Jude is a club and tradition says he was clubbed to death for his faith.

History refers to Jude under a couple of different names. He was called Judas, though we tend to shorten it to Jude to distance him from the other Judas, Thaddeus, or Labels.

Jude’s symbol is a ship because he was known for his missionary voyages. Tradition states that he traveled with Simone lo Zelota on his missionary journeys.

Artists also represent Jude with the symbol of an axe. Traditional sources claim that Jude was killed in Beirut by beheading with an axe.

After he was killed, his body was delivered to Rome.

Saint Jude Thaddeus
Saint Jude Thaddeus

Definitely not Judas Iscariot

Depending on the translation you use, you may see Jude listed as Jude or Judas. These are two variations of the same Greek name, which is derived from the Hebrew and Aramaic name, Judah.

Some scholars believe “Jude” first worked its way into our English translations to help avoid confusion with Judas Iscariot, whose name practically became a synonym for a traitor in art, literature, and popular culture.

A man named Judas—presumably Jude the apostle—appears in John 14:22, and John makes a point of telling us this is not Judas Iscariot.

Some suggest this aversion to the name Judas is the same reason why San Matteo and Saint Mark replaced Jude with Thaddeus in their lists of disciples. But this is speculation.

Most other languages use a single name for both of these disciples and let their descriptions make the distinction.

Miracles or Help Provided by Saint Jude Thaddeus

As mentioned before, Saint Jude Thaddeus is the patron of desperate cases, He is the patron saint of impossible causes because he urges Christians to stay close to Christ during hard times.

Many people report that Saint Jude helped them. Some people call this help miracles.

This includes but is not limited to cures for diseases, improved family situation, better health, job opportunities, family problems solved, success in school, and improvement of finances.

Saint Jude
Saint Jude - Anthonis van Dyck

Jude AKA Thaddeus

In two of the lists of apostles, Jude appears to be referred to as Thaddeus (Matthew 10:2Matteo 10:3Matthew 10:4Mark 3:16Marco 3:17Marco 3:18Mark 3:19). Since these two names appear in about the same place in the lists, and the other names are consistent, church tradition (and most modern scholars) have always assumed Thaddeus was a nickname for Jude of James.

Since the name Judas had such strong negative associations in the early church, it wouldn’t be surprising if Jude preferred to go by another name, or if Matthew and Mark used the nickname to avoid confusion.

Did Jude the Apostle Write the Epistle of Jude?

Most traditions assume Jude the Apostle wrote the Epistle of Jude because they assume he’s the same person as Jesus’ brother Jude. But unfortunately, Jude was a super common name, and this relies on assumptions. Today’s scholars have mixed opinions on Jude’s authorship.

How is He Honored in the Catholic Church Today?

The Order of the Dominicans began working in Armenia in the 12th century, where St. Jude was already very prominent in Christian circles. The continued impact of the Dominicans carried over into the Americas, centering in North America around Chicago. The Chicago Police Department has made him their patron saint, as well as several soccer teams around the world.

Interesting facts about Saint Jude
Interesting facts about Saint Jude - Infographic created by Marilyn Nash

Jude of James

“Jude of James” is one of the least-known members of the Twelve. He may have been one of Jesus’ brothers. He may have been the author of the Epistle of Jude. Or not. He had a common name, and the only description we have just links him to another common name.

But regardless of who he was and where he went, what we do know is that one of Jude Thaddeus facts is that Jesus called him, he followed, and he played a role at the beginning of a tiny movement that became the world’s largest religion.

Facts about Saint Jude Veneration

According to tradition, after his martyrdom, pilgrims came to his grave to pray and many of them experienced the powerful intercessions of St. Jude. Thus, the title, ‘The Saint for the Hopeless and the Despaired’. St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Bernard had visions from God asking each to accept St. Jude as ‘The Patron Saint of the Impossible’.

The feast day of St. Jude is the 28th of October (Roman Catholic Church, Episcopal Church, and Lutheran Church) and 19 June and 21 August (Eastern Orthodox Church).

The Order of Preachers (better known as the Dominicans) began working in present-day Armenia soon after their founding in 1216. At that time, there was already a substantial devotion to Saint Jude by both Catholic and Orthodox Christians in the area.

This lasted until persecution drove Christians from the area in the 18th century. Devotion to Saint Jude began again in earnest in the 19th century, starting in Italy and Spain, spreading to South America, and finally to the United States (starting in the vicinity of Chicago) owing to the influence of the Claretians and the Dominicans in the 1920s.

Among some Roman Catholics, Saint Jude is venerated as the “patron saint of lost causes“. This practice stems from the belief that few Christians invoked him for misplaced fear of praying to Christ’s betrayer, Judas Iscariot, because of their similar names.

The ignored Jude thus supposedly became quite eager to assist anyone who sought his help, to the point of interceding in the direst of circumstances. The Church also wanted to encourage veneration of this “forgotten” apostle and maintained that Saint Jude would intercede in any lost cause to prove his sanctity and zeal for Christ.

Another of the Jude Thaddeus Facts is that he is the patron saint of the Chicago Police Department, of Clube de Regatas, do Flamengo (a soccer team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and of St Jude’s GAA team based in Southampton & Bournemouth (UK).

His other patronages include desperate situations and hospitals. One of his namesakes is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, which has helped many children with terminal illnesses and their families since its founding in 1962.

Facts about Saint Jude Reflection

As in the case of all the apostles except for Peter, James, and John, we are faced with really unknown men, and we are struck by the fact that their holiness is simply taken to be a gift of Christ.

He chose some unlikely people: a former Zealot, a former (crooked) tax collector, an impetuous fisherman, two “sons of thunder,” and a man named Judas Iscariot.

It is a reminder that we cannot receive too often. Holiness does not depend on human merit, culture, personality, effort, or achievement. It is entirely God’s creation and gift.

God needs no Zealots to bring about the kingdom by force. Jude, like all the saints, is the saint of the impossible: Only God can create his divine life in human beings. And God wills to do so, for all of us.

Conclusion Facts

To conclude the Jude Thaddeus Facts, Thaddeus (also known as Judas (but not Judas the Betrayer), son of James and Lebbaeus): Thaddeus (also referred to as Saint Jude in the Catholic church) is believed to have been the nickname or surname of Judas.

There is some confusion as to whether Thaddeus was the brother or son of James but it is known that they were related. Thaddeus is known as a disciple of three names being that he is referred to as Thaddeus, Judas, and Lebbaeus.

Resources Facts


Saint Jude, noto anche come Saint Jude Thaddeus, è venerato come il santo patrono delle cause senza speranza in tutto il mondo. Era un cugino di Gesù Cristo e uno dei dodici Apostoli. Ha predicato il Vangelo con coraggio, spesso nelle circostanze più difficili.

San Giuda è spesso raffigurato mentre porta una rappresentazione di Gesù. Secondo la tradizione, questo ricorda un miracolo in cui un re affetto da lebbra fu guarito dopo che san Giuda gli aveva dato un panno che era stato premuto contro il volto di Cristo.

Molte persone in disperato bisogno hanno pregato San Giuda nel corso dei secoli. Santa Brigida di Svezia ha affermato di essere stata indirizzata in una visione a pregare San Giuda con profonda fede e fiducia.

"Con il suo cognome, Thaddeus, l'amabile o amorevole, Saint Jude si mostrerà molto disposto ad aiutare,"

ha affermato che Cristo gliel'ha detto.

Oggi, san Giuda rimane uno dei santi più popolari e amati, un celeste intercessore per tutti coloro che cercano l'aiuto di Dio durante i periodi di crisi familiare, malattia e difficoltà, specialmente quando ogni speranza sembra essere persa.


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