St. Jude, also known as Thaddeus, was the brother of the Apostle, St. James the Lesser, and was also a relative of Our Saviour. St. Jude was one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus. 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 at the election of his brother, St. Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem.
He is an author of an epistle (The letter of Jude) to the Churches of the East, particularly the Jewish converts, directed against the heresies of the Simonians, Nicolaites, and Gnostics.
This Apostle is said to have suffered martyrdom in Armenia, which was then subject to Persia. The final conversion of the Armenian nation to Christianity did not take place until the third century of our era. Jude was the one who asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He would not manifest Himself to the whole world after His resurrection. Little else is know of his life. Legend claims that he visited Beirut and Edessa; possibly martyred with St. Simon in Persia.
Jude is invoked in desperate situations because his New Testament letter stresses that the faithful should persevere in the environment of harsh, difficult circumstances, just as their forefathers had done before them. Therefore, he is the patron saint of desperate cases and his feast day is October 28. Saint Jude is not the same person as Judas Iscariot who betrayed Our Lord and despaired because of his great sin and lack of trust in Gods mercy.
HOW TO PRAY THE SAINT JUDE NOVENA
Traditionally, the novena prayer is said for 9 days. The 9 days signifies the 9 days the early Apostles prayed together during the time between the Ascension of Jesus, and Pentecost, when they experienced the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. However, there is no hard and fast rule for praying; it is best if you adopt a series of prayers and a rhythm for saying them that is comfortable for you and allows you to open a dialogue with God.
THE SAINT JUDE PRAYER (NOVENA)
Most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use, I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (your request) and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.
FOLLOW-UP PRAYERS (Three Times Each)
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
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