The Patron saint of desperate and lost causes: St. Jude
In difficult times, there is someone in the communion of saints whom the faithful regularly turn to for comfort. Whether because of violence, hunger, illness, emotional instability, political strife, or a host of other reasons, one man – one Saint – serves as a refuge for desperate causes. His name, of course, is St. Jude.
As the patron saint of desperate and lost causes, St. Jude has become one of the most popular saints of the modern age. In the U.S., his name is commonly associated with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, a medical center which focuses on catastrophic childhood diseases. For many, St. Jude represents eternal hope. He represents the ability to remain optimistic even in dire times.
This is a fitting role for St. Jude since his life was spent crusading for what many in his day may have called a “lost cause.” St. Jude was one of the original twelve apostles who, after Jesus’ Resurrection, were sent out into the world to preach His Good News. This was no simple task. In following Christ’s commandment, St. Jude demonstrated great courage and strength, especially since his father had already been martyred for outspoken belief in Jesus.
St. Jude persevered. He brought Christ’s teachings into many lands, including Persia, Libya, and Armenia, where he is credited for being the first messenger of the faith.
In his epistle, St. Jude speaks of the many dangers and roadblocks of evangelization, but he writes, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Verses 20-21).
This stress on the perseverance of faith in the face of harsh circumstances makes St. Jude an ideal patron for lost causes. Leading a holy life which eventually led to his martyrdom, St. Jude did not lose faith that God would see him through.
Today, many pray for his intercession, that they may have the same strength as they face the challenges of their lives.
PRAYER TO SAINT JUDE
O most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus — People honor and invoke you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, for I am so helpless and alone. Please help to bring me visible and speedy assistance. 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 (state your request) and that I may praise God with you always. 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 by publishing this request. Amen.