More often than not, those who are in a bind and need divine intervention pray to St. Jude the Apostle—the patron saint of lost causes and desperate situations. In the Philippines, students who are on the brink of failing or are about to take the bar or board exams often flock to the National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus in Manila to seek help and guidance. But who is this saint who always seems so eager to help?
Life and Death
Not much is known about St. Jude because his name rarely appears in the New Testament. However, some texts say that he is the brother of St. James the Lesser and a cousin of Jesus Christ. His mother, Mary, is the cousin of the Virgin Mary, while his father, Cleophas, is the brother of St. Joseph. St. Jude is one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ and goes by many different names—Jude Thaddeus, Jude the Apostle, and Jude of James.
After the ascension of Jesus, Jude went on to preach the Gospel in many places such as Libya, Mesopotamia, and Armenia, where he performed many miracles. One story says that he cured the king of Edessa with an image of Jesus’s face pressed on a cloth. The king, his family, and his kingdom converted to Christianity right there and then.
Because of their similarities in name, St. Jude is often mistaken as Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus. Because of this, many of the faithful are apprehensive to pray for his intercession because they assume they are praying to a traitor!
Text by Yen Cantiga.