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Friday, February 8, 2013

Patron Saint of Hopeless Cases

Pray for Us, Saint Jude photo stjude_zpsd081bed7.jpg
I have in my office several little figurines of various saints.  This is a photograph I took of Saint Jude - the patron saint of desperate situations and hopeless cases.

It's not part of my faith tradition to invoke the saints in my prayers, but there are times when I can almost begin to understand the practice.

If I were one to ask for the saints to come to my aid with their prayers and their intercessions, it would be St. Jude I call upon.

According to one of the stories told about St. Jude,  King Abagaro, ruler of Edessa, in Syria, suffered from leprosy and had heard of Jesus' miraculous powers.  He invited Jesus to come and to heal him, but instead of going himself Jesus dispatched Jude and gave him a cloth that he had pressed against his face leaving an image in the fabric.   Jude took it to Edessa and cured the king of his leprosy.  King Abagaro was so inspired  by this that he became a Christian.

St. Jude is shown in many pictures carrying a portrait of Jesus - often in the form of a medallion around his neck.

Other stories have him travelling in Syria, Armenia, Libya, Persia and Afghanistan after the resurrection of Jesus.  He is said to have been killed (beheaded) in Afghanistan, but his body (with or without the head, no one knows) was eventually brought to Rome.  Or again, other stories say that he was clubbed to death in Armenia.  Or maybe it was shot to death with arrows.  The stories and legends are numerous.

Most holy apostle, St. 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. Amen.

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. Amen.

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. Amen.

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