Reina is a cadle catholic. She studied in Catholic schools from kindergarten until high school. She enjoys teaching children's catechism.
I felt drawn to Saint Jude because of this seemingly impossible situation I am going through these days. I could hardly see any hope of emancipation from my maternal predicament. I could now only hope for miracles.
Then, there came Saint Jude. He is the Patron of Hope and impossible causes. I just sent a five-dollar petition to the National Shrine of Saint Jude in Chicago, Illinois. It's not much, but I hope it pleases the Lord to grant my prayer.
Who Is Saint Jude
I didn't find enough information about the life of Saint Jude. Many have argued about his identity in the history of the Church. Some even confuse him with Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus.
But he's not the betrayer. There were two Judases named in the gospel as the apostles of Jesus. He was the other one, and his name was Judas Thaddeus. He is the author of one of the letters in the New Testament.
You can find a write-up on the saint's biography on the website of the National Shrine of Saint Jude. A Claretian priest wrote the article. He describes Saint Jude as a mysterious figure coming in and out of the gospel narrative.
I want to talk more about the biography of Saint Jude in another article. For now, I would like to discuss the contents of his letter and the novena to Saint Jude.
But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
— Letter of Jude | New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
25 Bible Verses from the Letter of Jude
The Letter of Jude tucks between the astounding Book of Revelations and the monumental Letter of Saint John. It is a relatively brief letter with only 25 verses. The tone is quite intense and aggressive.
Scholars believe that the author wrote the letter as an encyclical addressed to all members of the early Christian Church. It is a call for all the believers of Christian to be vigilant with their faith.
Instead of chapters, the brief article comes with five (5) parts. Let's look at them here.
It consists of three statements beginning with a quick introduction about the author. Then follows the address and greetings of peace and love.
- Introduction - Saint Jude introduces himself as a servant of Christ and brother of James. It would be interesting to read the Letter of James after this.
- Address - The author addresses this letter to "those who are called." In other words, these are the people who have heard the gospel proclaimed and chose to follow Jesus Christ.
- Greetings - Like in any ordinary letter, the author sends greetings of love and peace to the people addressed in this letter.
Verse 1 contains the introduction and the address. Verse 2 is the greeting of peace of love. All in all, the salutation has only two verses.
Intent of the Letter
The author states his purpose for writing this letter. It is a plea to fight for the faith entrusted to the saints. It is also a warning for the believers to watch for false teachers who pervert the grace of God.
Let me show those verses here.
3 Beloved, while eagerly preparing to write to you about the salvation we share, I find it necessary to write and appeal to you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
4 For certain intruders have stolen in among you, people who long ago were designated for this condemnation as ungodly, who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now, you've seen two more verses from Saint Jude. We are five verses down the road. We still have twenty more to go.
Judgement of False Teachers
Here comes the exciting part. It occupies a large portion of the message. We can consider it the body of the letter.
In this portion, Saint Jude describes the destiny of the wicked people who distort the message of God. He recalls the history of the people of Israel and the miserable plight of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The saint woes these people and condemns them for having followed the way of Cain. Consider these pitiable descriptions for these types of people.
- blemishes on your love feasts, feeding themselves
- waterless clouds carried by the winds
- autumn trees without fruit, twice dead and uprooted
- wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their shame
- wandering stars, for whom the deepest darkness has been reserved forever
Those words send shivers down my spine. I sure don't want to end up like any of those people. I thank Saint Jude for these grave reminders.
Warnings and Exhortations
The heading in the NRSV bible makes the message even more intense as if we have not had enough in the body of the letter. These warnings and exhortations are words of encouragement for the faithful people of God. Saint Jude is telling us to be vigilant of those wicked people so that we may not fall prey to their traps.
He also gives us the hope of building ourselves up in the faith by praying in the Holy Spirit. There's another topic I wish to explore - praying in the Holy Spirit. But, the advice of Saint Jude is pretty straightforward. Here are his words.
"keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life (Jude | 21)
Furthermore, he also compels us to extend the mercy we receive from God unto others so we may also save them from eternal damnation. Indeed, we all want to go to heaven and live in eternal happiness with God.
Finally, we have come to the end of the letter. We can now pray the novena to Saint Jude and invoke his intercession for all our special intentions. The letter closes with declarations of praise glorifying the almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now to him who can keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
— Jude | 24 - 25
Novena Prayer to Saint Jude
Why Pray with Saint Jude
Honestly, I am just getting started with this devotion. I couldn't explain it, but I just somehow felt a tender attraction to the cause of this saint. I also hear many people coming to him for prayers.
They say his the saint of the impossible. The National Shrine of St. Jude recognizes him as the Patron Hope. I love the sound of that. It gives me hope and inspires me to strive in my faith.
Perhaps you have had some beautiful experiences with Saint Jude. Please share it here. I would probably be writing more about this holy man.
- Letter of Jude - Bible Gateway
A digital copy of the Letter of Jude from the NRSV Catholic Edition of the bible.
- Saint Jude Thaddeus | The National Shrine of Saint Jude
Claretian priest Fr. John M. Lozano wrote a biblical exposition of the life and works of Saint Jude to promote the devotion of the Patron of Hope and Difficult Cases.
- Epistle of Jude - Wikipedia
This Wikipedia describes the composition and publication history of the Letter of Jude.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Reina Mendoza