Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Apostles Saints Simon and Jude. Their names occur together in the Canon of the Mass and are also celebrated on the same day. They may be paired together because they both preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and Persia where it is said they had both been sent, but in actual fact we know nothing for certain about them beyond what is told us of their being called as Apostles in the New Testament. St. Jude is the author of a short Epistle which forms part of the New Testament.
Sts. Simon and Jude
However meagre in details is the history of these glorious apostles, we learn from their brief legend how amply they contributed to this great work of generating sons of God. Without any repose, and even to the shedding of their blood, they "edified the body of Christ"; and the grateful Church thus prays to our Lord today: "O God, through the work of the apostles you have spoken your Word of love, your Son, into our world's deafness. Open our ears to hear; open our hearts to heed; open our will to obey, that we may proclaim the good news with our lives."
Patronage: Desperate situations; forgotten causes; hospital workers; hospitals; impossible causes; lost causes; diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida.Symbols: Bearded man holding an oar, a boat, boat hook, a club, an axe or a book; nearly every image depicts him wearing a medallion with a profile of Jesus, and usually with a small flame above his head; often carries a pen or sits at a writing location to make reference to the canonical Epistle; sailboat; inverted cross; square; halbert; club; loaves and fish; long cross; knotted club; boat hook; fuller's bat; lance; saw; flail; closed book; shield: red with sailboat with a cross on the mast. St. Simon
Patronage: Curriers; sawmen; sawyers; tanners.Symbols: Boat; fish; man being sawn in two longitudinally; fish and book; oar; saw; two fishes; lance; fuller's bat; axe; cross; saw and oar saltire; fish on a boat hood; sword; shield: red background with two oars and a hatchet.Things to Do:
- Both of these apostles have struggled with mistaken identities with other apostles. Simon is also the name of Simon Peter, and Jude was often spelled "Judas" and so confused with Judas Iscariot, the traitor. Because of the mixup of names, St. Jude was not invoked for a long time. But through his intercession St. Jude helped several saints in very large or hopeless matters, so his reputation began as the patron of impossible causes.
- Read the Epistle of St. Jude.
- Read more about the Legends of Sts. Simon and Jude.
- Traditionally Christians used to begin to prepare food such as bread of the dead and soul cakes for the feast of All Souls beginning on this day. In some areas people would beg for ingredients to make these cakes on this day.
- Visit the St. Jude Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland
- Try your hand at making the St. Jude Impossible Pie.
- Find some domestic church ideas to celebrate these two apostles.