Hey Jude! Recalling an Apostle’s Intercession

One woman shared that her Jewish friend used to pray to St. Jude because he would answer her prayers. Admittedly, I don’t recall asking for St. Jude’s intercession. (Unless the numerous times that I played “Hey Jude” on the piano as a teenager count!) Every now and then I’ve donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and heard the story about his intercession for its founder, Danny Thomas, who began it in thanksgiving. However, as I worked on this article several people throughout the world shared stories of St. Jude’s miracles in their lives.

St. Jude, whose feast we celebrate on October 28, was a relative of Jesus and one of the twelve apostles. Widely known as the patron saint of hopeless cases, lost causes, and desperate situations, he wrote one of the New Testament epistles in defense against heresy. St. Jude is often depicted with a flame above his head and holding a picture of Jesus, in the image of Edessa.

Stephen Lowe of Finland commented that he has been devoted to St. Jude for decades. “My sister got me a gold medal of St. Jude 45 years ago, and I believe St. Jude has prevented my death four times in two accidents and two health operations.” He added, “Cancer is not a death sentence. I was diagnosed with cancer in January 2022. I was offered radiation therapy but refused and resorted to prayer. Out of four cancer cells, three disappeared and the fourth reduced to 2mm.” He is now an administrator of the Facebook page St. Jude Thaddeus – Hear My Prayer.

People invoke St. Jude’s intercession for various needs. “I had a bad accident years ago. I was very lucky to be alive. My earpiece to my hearing aid was missing. My husband and I both prayed to St Jude. At the impound yard/garage, we found it caught in the frame amid the busted glass of the back window. It was also fully functional,” related shared Susan Gibbs of Natural Bridge, New York. She continued, “[Another time] I was missing a small ring that my son gave me…..no real monetary value, but emotional. I prayed to St Jude, just the short prayer. The next morning I found it in the sink near the drain. I had done dishes the night before and the sink was rinsed off and clean. I know I would have spotted it, especially when I was searching for it.”

Favors obtained through St. Jude abound. A Consecrated Religious Brother offered the following testimony. “On October 28th some years ago, the Feast of Saint Jude (and Saint Simon), I had a life-threatening head injury while playing basketball at a Eucharistic Healing Retreat for about 200 youth that I was conducting with the help of three religious communities. A tall youngster running full speed came down and ‘took a bite out of my head’ down to the skull bone! I had a genuine near-death experience where my entire life flashed through my mind’s eye like a rapid slide show, pausing at certain moments. I truly felt that I would likely die, and I remembered it was Saint Jude’s Feast Day and I said a quick prayer to Saint Jude to pray for me in my desperate situation.”

He went on, “Despite a severe concussion and bleeding, I managed to not go unconscious despite the ambulance being rather delayed in bringing me to the hospital because we had to stop for gas! I almost faded out in the ambulance due to serious trouble breathing; but after asking the two ER guys to prop me up, one man took off his own jacket and put it underneath my head and soon after I was finally able to breathe a little and my body began to stabilize. The head gash was so bad that stitches wouldn’t work, so they had to put a bunch of metal staples in my head. 

After that, “They asked me what happened and I was pretty delirious but I clearly remember telling them I was injured playing basketball; because of the severity of my wound they did NOT believe me and officially wrote in my chart ‘MVA’: motor vehicle accident! Also amazing was that a religious sister took care to immediately wash my very blood-soaked habit in ice water in a bathtub so she was able to prevent any permanent staining. Despite two years of challenging symptoms following the incident, including regular headaches and blurred vision, I thank God for Saint Jude’s intercession in sparing my life and any significant long-term harm!”

The intercession of St. Jude has been invoked for several centuries, including by Saints Bridget of Sweden and Bernard. It was thought that St. Jude, along with St. Simon whose feast is celebrated on the same date, belonged to the Zealot (Jewish nationalistic party). A legend dating back to the 4th century holds that the saints were martyred in Persia while on mission. Others believe that St. Jude, called the “Apostle to the Armenians,” died in Armenia or Beirut. Early sources say that St. Jude brought the Gospel to Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. Some of St. Jude’s bones are located at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, under the left transept main altar of St. Joseph.

Numerous faithful petition St. Jude at the many shrines dedicated to him as well. “I just need St. Jude to intercede for me and my family at large over sickness issues. The burden is becoming unbearable. That’s my humble request,” shared a young woman named Sharon Atieno of Kenya. My mother shared with me that her uncle Roger Hamel who had a debilitating heart condition and was only supposed to live for a manner of months started praying to St. Jude religiously. He ended up living for several years. Countless faithful worldwide offer novenas or short prayers to St. Jude. I will be saying “Hey Jude,” but devotionally now, especially in my prayers for other. St. Jude, patron saint of hope, pray for us!

Novena to St. Jude – Desperate Situations and Hopeless Cases

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult cases, of things almost despaired of, Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He 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—(make your request here)—and that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

Prayer

May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, and loved in all the tabernacles until the end of time. Amen.

May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen.

St. Jude pray for us and hear our prayers. Amen.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus         
Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus, in all the world and for all Eternity. 


(say this prayer, followed by the Our Father and the Hail Mary)

Dear Apostle and Martyr for Christ, you left us an Epistle in the New Testament. With good reason many invoke you when illness is at a desperate stage. We now recommend to your kindness (name of patient) who is in a critical condition. May the cure of this patient increase his/her faith and love for the Lord of Life, for the glory of our merciful God. Amen.

Photo: Shutterstock

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Mary Beth Bracy is a writer who is blessed to research, publish, and speak extensively on various aspects of Catholic spirituality. Her books include Behold the LambBread of Life and The Little Way of Healing Love Through the Passion of Jesus: The Stations of the Cross with St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She is also co-author of the book Stories of the Eucharist. She has written articles for numerous Catholic publications and recorded some Catholic talks. For more information or to view her blog visit The Little Way

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