"I don't know who you are," I whispered, kneeling before the lit candle and the green chaplet in my hands, "but I know of you."
And there we began like so many before. Out of the quiet.
Typically we know one thing about St. Jude: he's kind of the saint you hope you don't ever pray to. He's known for being the Patron Saint of Lost Causes, though I always thought that title never quite sounded right. Maybe it should be the saint for Desperate Causes, for Those Who Refuse To Give Up Hope, or Those Who Have Faith In Miracles. Either way, when there's something that far, far outweighs anything you can carry alone, St. Jude is the man to run to.
One of Jesus' original twelve apostles, St. Jude preached the Gospel with his brother, St. James the Lesser, and many believe that they were cousins of Christ. He is usually depicted for carrying an image of Jesus, which recalls a miracle attributed to him in which King Abagar of Edessa asked Jesus to cure him of leprosy. The king sent an artist to Jesus with this request, and Christ was impressed with his great faith and pressed his face into a cloth, and His image was imprinted on it. Jesus then gave this cloth to St. Jude who took it to King Abagar who was then cured.
His epistle is one of the shortest in the Bible and right at the tail end, just before Revelations, where he writes that the faithful should persevere before harsh and difficult circumstances.
After Christ's death, St. Jude preached throughout Mesopotamia, Libya, and Persia with St. Simon until he was martyred. St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Bernard, had visions from God asking them to accept St. Jude as The Patron Saint of the Impossible.
Each night falling asleep to the warm light from that candle, I go to bed in peace, knowing that this beloved saint is interceding for me like he has done for so many. And each morning when I hit my knees to pray, I pray from a place of hope, love, goodness, truth, healing and faith. Not from desperation or anxiety or despair. But with confidence in the Lord's plan. And when that wavers, St. Jude's got my back.
The following novena to St. Jude has never proven to fail:
"Apostle and Martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, near kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor for all who invoke thee, special patron in time of need; to thee I have recourse from the depth of my heart, and humbly beg thee, to whom God hath given such great power, to come to my assistance; help me now in my urgent need and grant my earnest petition. I will never forget thy graces and the favors thou dost obtain for me and I will do my utmost to spread devotion to thee. Amen."
St. Jude, pray for us!