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October 28, 2018: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Pastor’s Corner

This weekend we celebrate the feast of St. (Simon &) Jude! Because of the special connection we have with the Shrine of St. Jude, we continue our reflections of his life and particular devotion. What spiritual patronage is attributed to St. Jude? St. Jude is the Patron Saint of Hope. In particular, St. Jude is a powerful intercessor for difficult moments and impossible causes in our life.  We pray to St. Jude when we need a miracle.  One reason for this is because, in the Bible, the name Jude is identical to the name Judas, the apostle who betrayed our Lord.  With such a guilty association, devotion to St. Jude waned.  Since devotion to St. Jude was relatively forgotten, he is the patron of those whose prayers deemed forgotten.  

What is unique to images and statues of St. Jude? St. Jude is traditionally depicted carrying the image of Jesus in his hand. This recalls one of his miracles during his work spreading the Word of God. King Abagar of Edessa asked Jesus to cure him of leprosy and sent an artist to bring him a drawing of Jesus. Impressed with Abagar’s great faith, Jesus pressed His face on a cloth, leaving the image of His face on it. He gave the cloth to St. Jude, who took the image to Abagar and cured him. Additionally, St. Jude is often depicted with a flame above his head, representing his presence at Pentecost, when he was said to have received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles.

Is there a connection between the Order of Preachers (Dominicans and St Jude)?

Soon after St. Dominic founded the Order of Preachers, the friars began preaching and teaching in present-day Armenia. At that time, there was already a substantial devotion to Saint Jude among both the local Catholic and Orthodox communities.  As the Dominican Order spread around the world, they also brought this devotion to St. Jude with them, coming finally to the United States.  The St. Jude shrine was founded at St. Dominic’s in 1935 and is a place of prayer, healing and devotion to the thousands of pilgrims who come from around the world to seek hope in the midst of darkness and despair.

What devotions to St. Jude do we celebrate at St. Dominic’s? During the course of the year, our parish celebrates a number of novenas, Masses and other devotional practices. Most importantly, the St. Jude shrine is available for prayer at St. Dominic’s from 6:00 a.m. in the morning until at least 9:00 p.m. every evening.  During the week, the St. Jude Mass is at 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday is celebrated at 1:30 p.m. in Spanish.  At the conclusion of these Masses, there is an opportunity for blessings with the St. Jude relic.

Is there a special prayer to St. Jude?  During our novena, we have been praying a prayer which highlights the special role St. Jude has in our spiritual life.  “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.  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.  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 request) and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.  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.  Amen.”

Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P.


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