October 28, 2015
(Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles)
Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Eph_2:19-22
Today, the Church commemorates the Feast day of two of Jesus’ apostles, St. Simon and St. Judas. The names of both of these two apostles could be easily confused with the more well-known apostles: Simon Peter and Judas Iscariot. But they are not the same people. And there is actually not much concrete information on either apostle.
They were thought to be brothers. They were thought to be cousins of Jesus. They were thought to have come from Cana in Galilee. Which, we remember, was the town where Jesus attended a wedding and changed water into wine. Thus, Simon is sometimes called Simon the Canaanite, although he is more well known as Simon the Zealot, because of his zealous adherence to the Jewish Law.
Simon is traditionally known as the patron saint of tanners, the people who treat animal skins to produce leather. This may have been Simon’s trade back in the Apostolic days.
Although St. Simon, had a name that could have been confused with an apostle of greater reputation, St. Judas had a name that could only be mistaken for the Apostle, Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. And because of that negative connotation, Judas was rarely prayed to, since people didn’t want God confusing their prayers – as going to Judas Iscariot.
So as time went on, and the Church recognized this lack of attention to Judas, he began to be referred to, instead, as St. Jude. And being the more hopeful of
the two Judas’, St. Jude became the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes. The saint of the impossible. Today, we have even named a famous Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee after St. Jude.
Both St. Simon and St. Jude were thought to have evangelized as far as Egypt. Both were believed to have been martyred for their faith in Jesus. And both are buried in the same tomb at St. Peter’s Rome.
What an awesome testimony to these two, lesser known Apostles, who gave their lives to making Jesus known to the world.
Today we pray to Sts. Simon and Jude with prayers like to these:
Prayer to St. Simon
O Glorious St. Simon, you were a cousin of Jesus and a devoted follower as well.
You were called “the Zealot,” indicating that you were willing to give your life for your religion, and your freedom as a human person.
Obtain for us the grace to be willing to give our lives for Christ and to labor for the freedom and peace that only God can give.
Help us to spend ourselves for God on earth and be received by him in eternal bliss in heaven.
Prayer to St. Jude
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, glorified, loved and preserved now and forever.
Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us,
Saint Jude worker of Miracles, pray for us,
Saint Jude helper and keeper of the hopeless, pray for us.
We thank you Saint Jude.
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