Saint Jude

saint jude

St. Jude

Jude, Thaddeus, or Lebbeus, son of Alpheus or Cleophas and Mary. Alpheus or Cleophas and Mary’s son, Jude, Thaddeus, or Lebbeus. 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 Mark 3:18, he is referred to as Thaddeus. In Matthew 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 Judas 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 is now regarded as a saint by Christians of various denominations, particularly Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglicans. Saints – God’s holy men and women both on earth and in heaven – are regarded as models of how to follow Jesus Christ and as “intercessors” in the Catholic tradition (and others) of Christianity. Because the saints in heaven live fully in God’s presence while remaining bound to those on earth by love bonds, they present our needs to God.


A popular Roman Catholic prayer to Jude is:

st. jude prayer

“O most holy apostle, Saint Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honoureth and invokes thee universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, and things almost despaired of. Pray for me, who am so miserable.
“Make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded to thee, to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of. Come to mine assistance in this great need, that I may receive the consolation and succor of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (here make your request) and that I may praise God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity.
“I promise thee, O blessed Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor thee as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to thee. Amen.”

The Novena – a prayer said nine days in a row:

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

Jude is said to have preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Libya. He is also said to have visited Beirut and Edessa, though the latter mission is credited to Thaddeus of Edessa, one of the Seventy. He is said to have died as a martyr alongside Simon the Zealot in Persia. Nicephorus Callistus, a fourteenth-century writer, makes Jude the bridegroom at the wedding at Cana.

Though Saint Gregory the Illuminator is credited with being the “Apostle to the Armenians” when he baptized King Tiridates III of Armenia in 301 C.E., converting the Armenians, the Apostle Jude and Apostle Bartholomew are traditionally believed to have been the first to bring Christianity to Armenia and are thus venerated as the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Thaddeus Monastery is associated with this tradition.

To read more about Saint Jude, then please read the story of St Jude.


Saint Jude, also known as Saint Jude Thaddeus, is revered as the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes around the world. He was a cousin of Jesus Christ and one of the twelve Apostles. He preached the Gospel with courage, often in the most difficult of circumstances.

Saint Jude is frequently depicted carrying a representation of Jesus. According to tradition, this recalls a miracle in which a king afflicted with leprosy was cured after Saint Jude gave him a cloth that had been pressed against the face of Christ.

Many people in desperate need have prayed to Saint Jude throughout the ages. Saint Bridget of Sweden stated that she was directed in a vision to pray to Saint Jude with deep faith and confidence.

“By his surname, Thaddeus, the amiable or loving, Saint Jude will show himself most willing to help,”

she claimed Christ told her.

Today, Saint Jude remains one of the most popular and beloved Saints, a heavenly intercessor for all who seek God’s help during times of family crisis, sickness, and trouble, especially when all hope appears to be lost.

What is the significance of Saint Jude in the Eastern Orthodox Church?

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Saint Jude is venerated as one of the twelve apostles, and his feast day is celebrated on June 19th.

How is Saint Jude depicted in art and iconography?

In art and iconography, Saint Jude is often depicted holding a book or scroll, as a reference to his epistle in the New Testament. He may also be shown holding an image of Jesus or staff and is sometimes depicted with a flame above his head, a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Is there a Saint Jude relic?

Yes, there are several relics of Saint Jude that are venerated in different churches around the world. Some of these relics include a finger bone, a tooth, and a piece of cloth that is said to have been touched to his body.

#1. What is Saint Jude known for?

#2. Where was Jude born?

#3. Who was Apostle Jude's Mother?

#4. What did Apostles Jude and Bartholomew bring to Armenia?

#5. What rite traces its origins to Saint Jude Thaddaeus?

#6. Where is Saint Jude buried?

#7. Saints Simon and Jude are venerated together in the Roman Catholic Church on which day?

#8. Saint Jude is the patron saint of which police department?

#9. Jude claims to be the servant of Jesus Christ, and also related to someone. To whom does he say he's related?

#10. In what situation do Roman Catholics invoke the intercession of Saint Jude?





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