Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
Today is the feast day of Sts. Simon and Jude, apostles. Their remains are kept together in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and they are venerated on the same day. Of the two saints, Jude is more well-known today. We think of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Although it is a hospital without any religious affiliation, its founder was Catholic. He had a very successful Hollywood career which he traced to a prayer answered by St. Jude.
St. Jude is known as the patron saint of lost causes. Some say that this is because he had been relatively obscure during the first millennium of Church history because his name sounded too much like Judas Iscariot. Seeing that he was getting so few requests for intercession, compared to other saints, St. Jude resolved to work doubly hard to intercede for those who sought his help.
There is a New Testament epistle that bears Jude’s name, and, unlike St. Jude’s intercessory prowess, the epistle still remains in relative obscurity. It is an encyclical letter, like the ones that popes write today, but whereas Laudato Si has 176 pages, St. Jude’s encyclical has only 25 verses! It is worth a quick read, especially because the lectionary cycle covers only a quarter of it.
Here are a couple verses from St. Jude: “Remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who set up divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”