Monday, March 8, 2010

St. Jude Thaddeus (1st century AD)

I thought for sure that novenas I made to St. Jude Thaddeus 15 years ago didn't work. I remember sitting in St. Agnes Church in Providence in nine-week intervals on Tuesday afternoons at 5 (or was it 5:30?) It was quite like a cult. My parents would go along with various aunts and family friends. My dad would tell me that whether my prayers were answered or not I still had to go another nine weeks to give St. Jude thanks.
Why did I have to give him thanks if he didn't help me? "Because it was meant to be," my dad would say.
I honestly do not recall what I was asking for. But after the nine weeks were up I would leave in disappointment. Still, I encouraged friends to go that were feeling sad or confused about things. St. Jude didn't help me, but he might help someone else. I even got my cousin Cindy to go with me one time and she was raised Protestant. (I think that novena was at St. Leo the Great Church in Pawtucket.) She said she had a good feeling afterward.
One of the women that went to the novena had cancer and she ended up dying. Why? Because it was meant to be. I believe in my heart that she found peace and acceptance. My dad was laid off from a job he had for 35 years. And, my mother used to go to the novena and she wasn't even sick. Then five years later she died from cancer. I later figured that these were all things that were predestined.
St. Jude Thaddeus, an Apostle and relative of Jesus, was born in Galilee, Palestine in the 1st century AD. His brother was the Apostle James the Less.
St. Jude was beaten to death in Persia and is usually depicted holding a club. His relics are in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Yet another place that I had the honor of visiting a couple of times.
Canonized: pre-congregation. His feast day is Oct. 28.
If you can't make it to St. Peter's, there is a beautiful statue of St. Jude at St. Anne's Shrine in Fall River, Mass.
Many long years have gone by since I last sat in St. Agnes Church, and now I realize that it did work. St. Jude did help me. I'm happy and content in so many aspects of my life.
Remember that things don't always happen quickly. Be patient and one day, St. Jude will help you, too.

"Most holy apostle, Saint 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 (here make your request) and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever. I promise, O blessed Saint Jude, to be mindful of this great favour, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen."

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