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Hey, Jude: Saint’s Relic Makes First Visit to California


Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 01/04/16

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Interesting stuff, via The Simi Valley Acorn:

Catholics in Ventura County and around Southern California will be celebrating next month when one of the church’s most venerated relics makes a visit to St. Rose of Lima in Simi Valley for three days of healing masses. It will be the first time the arm of St. Jude, which is normally kept in the Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus in Chicago, is displayed on the West Coast, according to the Rev. Joseph Shea of St. Rose of Lima. “It’s never traveled this far west,” he said. Accompanying the relic will be the Rev. Michail Forde of the Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, who will lead the special masses at the church at 1305 Royal Ave. The services will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 11 to 13. “We believe God’s grace is so powerful that through the remains of his saints, people would be healed,” Shea said. “It’s not the remains themselves that heal. It’s God’s grace that provides the healing.” The visit by the relic was organized by the Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis in October for the church’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Read on.

Curious about St. Jude? Here’s some of what we know:

He was possibly a cousin of Jesus, a brother to St. James the Lesser, and certainly one of Jesus’ early disciples. We don’t know the circumstances of his becoming a disciple, but we can imagine that Jude heard Jesus preaching and was moved by what he heard – God loves everyone! For some time Jude followed Jesus as he went about Galilee preaching.  Jesus chose Jude as one of his 12 Apostles. In Luke’s listing of the 12 (6:16) Jude’s name appears. In Matthew (10:3) and in Mark (3:18), the name Thaddeus is used. That is why we call our patron, Saint Jude Thaddeus. We have no clear record of where St. Jude served the growing Catholic Church in the first century.   Some sources within the patristic tradition claim that St. Jude preached the Good News in Judea, Samaria, Syria, Mesopotamia and Libya.  It is also likely, because of such strong devotion to Saints Simon (Bartholomew) and Jude in Armenia, which seem to have been established before the Fourth Century, that St. Jude did indeed preach the Gospel there as well.  He shares his feast, October 28th, with Saint Simon, presumably because they preached and died together in Syria around the year 65 AD. Many pictures of St. Jude show him with a flame over his head – a reminder that the Holy Spirit came upon him in tongues of fire at Pentecost. (Acts 2:3) He is also represented carrying an image of Jesus – a reminder that each of us is to bring Christ to others.  Other attributes or symbols that accompany images of St. Jude include an axe (symbolic of his martyrdom be being beheaded), a boat, and an oar.  St. Jude is known as the Patron of seemingly impossible or lost causes and desperate situations.  He is also the Patron of many other cities and organizations like the Chicago Police Department, St. Petersburg, Florida, Cotta, Rio de Janeiro, and the Philippines among others.

Now, about that arm:

After his martyrdom, the body of St. Jude was buried temporarily in Mesopotamia and them given permanent internment in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome with the other Apostles.  His forearm was incases in a silver reliquary and located for many centuries in Armenia.  At the beginning of the 18th century, Armenian Dominican Missionaries left Armenia because of the Moslem persecution and brought the relic to Smyrna, Turkey.  After another round of persecutions, the relic was given to the Dominicans in Turin, Italy. In 1949, the Dominican Province of St. Peter Martyr in Turin presented the relic to us on the 20th anniversary of our Shrine’s dedication to St. Jude.  We are the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great, or as we are also known as the Dominican Central Province of the U.S. The arm relic is permanently displayed at the Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus located in St. Pius V Parish, 1909 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL. 60608. It is reportedly the largest relic of an Apostle located outside of Rome.

Photo: Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus / Chicago

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