Apostle Jude, by Anthonis van Dyck

St. Jude was born early in the first century, most likely in Galilee, and became one of the Twelve Apostles. He is honored in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican (including Episcopal), Lutheran, and Aglipayan Churches, as well as in Islam. It’s believed that he was martyred with St. Simon around 65 A.D. in modern-day Beirut. The Eastern Churches honor St. Jude on June 19 and St. Simon on May 10. Their feast day is celebrated together on October 28 in the Western Churches. St. Jude is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes and in his name, dedicated people create miracles every day.

Here’s the list of the original Twelve Apostles called by Jesus:



James the Greater

James the Younger






Jude Thaddeus

Simon the Zealot

Judas Iscariot

Jude and Simon are near the end of the list because so little is know of them. Further, there is some confusion regarding their names and their connections to the other Apostles.

Peter’s name was Simon before Jesus changed it to Peter (the rock). So Simon is sometimes confused with Simon Peter. Simon was known to be a zealot or excited about Jewish law, and then excited about the Way of Jesus.

St. Simon, by Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1611), from his Twelve Apostles series at the Museo del Prado, Madrid

In an effort to avoid any confusion with Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus and also happens to share the same name as Jude, Jude’s name appears in a variety of forms in historical documents. As it appears in Greek, Jude is a nickname of Thaddeus in the same way that Peggy is a nickname for Margret. Jude is also referred to as the son, or more likely, the brother of James the Younger.

Jude appears only once in the Gospel:

After the Last Supper it was Jude who asked Our Lord why he chose to reveal Himself only to the disciples. He received the reply: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” – John 14:22

The Epistle of Jude, a letter written to the Church warning of corruption concludes with these words:

Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding great joy, to the only wise God, or Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Unfortunately, we have no historical evidence that the apostle Jude is the same Jude who wrote the Epistle of Jude. Therefore, October 28 is the feast day of Jude the Apostle, Jude the writer of the Epistle of Jude (whether one and the same or not), and Simon the Zealot.

Simon the Zealot and Jude Thaddeus are remembered together because, after Pentecost, they traveled together spreading His Word. It’s believed that Jude was a calming presence to Simon’s excitable ways. They spent much of their time in far away places which is another reason why they do not appear in many historical records. However, it’s generally believed that they were martyred together in Persia (modern-day Beirut).

St. Jude’s history is sparse, convoluted, confusing, and contains the name association with Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. If one is to pray for intercession from a saint, there are plenty of other saints with clearer identities and more inspiring histories. The tendency to ask St. Jude for prayers of intercession only after all other prayers have failed has given him the reputation as the saint of lost causes. Nowadays, many people, when faced with what they see as a lost cause, will go directly to St. Jude for prayers of intercession.

O God, we thank you for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. – Collect, HOLY WOMEN, HOLY MEN: CELEBRATING THE SAINTS

For More Info:

James Kiefer’s Christian Biographies
Domestic Church

It’s extraordinary what people can do when faced with a lost cause or hopeless case. My decision to research St. Jude came from an article in my local newspaper – St. Jude’s Church Celebrates 20thAnniversary by Amanda Greene.

The idea for establishing this church came from a tragically desperate cause — the brutal murder of Talana Quay Kreeger in an anti-lesbian hate crime and the difficulty her friends and family had in finding a church willing to host her funeral. (The Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church stepped up after another church reconsidered hosting a lesbian’s funeral.)

Born out of a terrible situation, St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church is a Christian parish filled with creators and doers of good works.

Lost causes make me think of the term, “Nothing’s impossible.” This expression appears in many inspirational movies and is the running theme of Barbara Streisand’s Yentl. I heard it again last night while watching an episode of Glee with my daughter – only in the positive form, “Anything’s possible.”

Sometimes though, when dealing with lost causes, true goodness is found, not in the ultimate outcome, but during the courageous battle as shown in THE GRACE OF EVERY DAY SAINTS: HOW A BAND OF BELIEVERS LOST THEIR CHURCH AND FOUND THEIR FAITH by Julian Guthrie.

The parishioners made a positive difference in their future that would not have occurred had they not fought for their church. It reminds me of what Galadriel said to Frodo in THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien, “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

I know of a person who must have felt pretty small as an out-of-work actor with a wife and a new baby at home. Inspired by a sermon at church, he placed his last few dollars in the collection basket and then bent his head in faithful desperation. He asked St. Jude to intercede for him and help him find his path. He promised St. Jude that if he found his way to success, he would build a shrine to honor him.

Within a week, he found a job that paid ten times the amount he placed in the collection basket — a first step in a wonderfully successful career in show business.

Danny Thomas kept his word and. with the help of some dedicated friends and community leaders, his shrine took the form of  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a place where miracles occur every day.

My mother-in-law, Carolynn Grow Ross, supports St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital as one of her favorite charities. She is also a great believer in the value of what others think of as lost causes — used gift wrap, the wax paper bag inside cereal boxes, and dinner leftovers which can all be reused or reinvented. What the woman can do with a bag of apples from the bargain rack in the produce department of her local grocer store is nothing short of a miracle:


About 3 pounds of apples

About 1/2 cup cranberry juice

¼ or ½ cup sugar to taste

1 tablespoon cinnamon or to taste


Apple strainer or food mill

Procure apples, either from the bargain or sale rack, warehouse store, or local orchard. Carolynn suggests a mix of different kinds of apples, although Cortland apples are her favorite. I agree that mixing up different varieties is great fun and the mix of flavors is quite the tasty treat. Although, once I tasted a Honey Crisp apple, I measure all other apples against that perfect standard. Every autumn, I celebrate the arrival of the new crop of Honey Crisp apples at my local Trader Joe’s. But even more fun for me is my quest to obtain North Carolina Mountain Grown Honey Crisp apples. It’s not so easy when I live in a town by the coast. Last year, with a little help from a friend, I got ‘em. Thanks, Beth! Applesauce made with these apples is true perfection. My advice? Use your favorite apples. Except apples that are too mushy like Macintosh, or Red Delicious which are great for eating out of hand but not so good for cooking. Fuji apples are excellent and my last batch was made with Golden Delicious apples from an orchard in Virginia.

Wash apples carefully. Spray them with a fruit washing spray, or lemon juice, or white vinegar, then rinse with cold water to help remove the pesticides on the skin.

Cut into quarters. Do not peel. Removing the pits in optional.

Pour cranberry juice into pot. It should cover about 1/2-inch of the bottom. Fill the rest of the pot with the apple quarters.

Cover and cook on high until boiling. Then lower heat but keep it bubbling. After 10 minutes, carefully stir the mixture moving the bottom apples to the top. Cook for another 15 minutes or until the apples become mushy.

Turn off heat, remove pot lid and let cool for a few minutes, so you don’t get burned by splatters in the next step.

Strain the mixture by using an apple strainer set, or a food mill. Discard apple skins and seeds.

In a large bowl, mix the strained apples with ¼ to ½ cup of sugar depending on the sweetness of the apple variety and to taste. Mix in about a tablespoon of cinnamon or to taste.

Homemade applesauce is delicious served warm. So good in fact that I’ve gone light on the sugar thinking that it was just right. However, when served cold the next morning, I realized it could have used just a bit more sugar. That’s something you’ll have to experiment with depending on taste and apple varieties.

This applesauce freezes very well. I pour mine into plastic containers, freeze, and then share some with friends and save some for eating during the winter and spring.

As much fun as I have each autumn experimenting with apple varieties and filling my home with the luscious aroma of apples and cinnamon, there’s an ingredient that completes the experience for my family  – memories that transport us to a typical Labor Day morning at the 100-year-old beach house, Brewster’s Bluff, overlooking Duxbury Bay in Massachusetts. The family reunion winds down over packed bags, searches for missing socks, coffee, homemade waffles, bowls of Grammy’s warm applesauce, and hugs goodbye.

Bonus Material:

Martha, Grammy/Carolynn (May 13, 1924 – August 8, 2017) & me at the Duxbury Beach House

New gadget purchase!

(Originally posted on 9/23/2012 to Saints and Recipes on Blogger.)

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