St. Jude (First Century)
Jude was one of the original twelve apostles. His name and fame endure far more than the other eleven, most of whom remain fairly unknown today, without much mention outside of church liturgy.
Not that much is known about Jude Thaddeus. It is believed he might have been one of four brothers who were Jesus's first cousins. But this is speculation — albeit educated speculation by scholars and hagiographers. With all the studying of Jude's background, the course of his life with Jesus and after the Crucifixion, little has been passed on that cannot be debated.
Jude is mentioned in the Gospel of John: When Jesus was speaking at the Last Supper, Jude interrupted him, asking, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.” This apostle is also said to have written a short book of the New Testament, the Letter of Jude, in which he warned against false prophets. He is also thought to have been martyred in Persia.
Why is Jude so well known today?
St. Jude is known well today because he is a patron saint that almost everyone can relate to — the patron saint of lost causes. Catholics will often pray to St. Jude when they feel that all else has failed.
It is not known how Jude came to be the patron saint of lost causes and desperate situations, but many ask for his intercession when life feels hopeless. They ask for his help in finding work when they have been unemployed for many months, to cure a relative with a serious addiction, to cure themselves of severe illness, or to get assistance with any number of other problems that seem to have no solution, or at least not an obvious one.
The woman was thirty-six years old, and she and her husband had three sons. Her spouse wanted a daughter very much, but the woman's doctor told her that childbearing was now impossible for her. She prayed to Jude anyway.
One night in a dream her deceased grandmother appeared to her. She said, “I told you if you would pray to Saint Jude he would help you, didn't I?” The woman woke from the dream somewhat confused because she had been praying to that saint. She did not know at the time that she was two months pregnant. It seemed her grandmother had appeared simply to tell her that her dream had come true. The couple named their daughter Mary.