NEW YORK — On the heels of early October commemorations for the Order’s patron saint, Francis, several Province churches are planning commemorations of St. Jude, whose feast day is Oct. 28.
As the stresses of daily life become more intense, St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless cases, has been gaining more exposure with Catholics around the world. Jude, which means giver of joy, often gives people today hope during times of stress and struggle.
Observations around Holy Name Province
Here is how some of our parishes will mark the feast day:
► St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street, Manhattan, invites people to a week of prayer to St. Jude Oct. 22-26. Devotions to St. Jude will be prayed each day after the 8 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and the 5:30 p.m. Masses.
► St. Stephen of Hungary on East 82nd Street, Manhattan. celebrates a week-long retreat Oct. 22-27, praying to St Jude for intentions. Eric Carpine, OFM, is serving as the preacher for the week. The parish will end the retreat with the anointing of the sick at the 5:30 p.m. Saturday Mass. Children from the parish school, who have formed a new service-oriented group “St Jude’s Missionaries,” will participate in some of the prayer.
They are going to begin doing service projects through the shrine, according to staff member Jayne Porcelli. “They will begin by writing letters to some of the folks who write to the shrine for help. Some of them are training to be parish altar servers, others of them also participate in the children’s choir for family Mass.”
This parish has long been a center for St. Jude Devotion in the Province, according to Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, who said “a St. Jude novena was started at St. Stephen shortly after the Province began ministering there in 1934 — during the great Depression.”
► St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany, N.Y., holds a nine-day novena to St. Jude Oct. 20-28. The novena started after 4:00 p.m. Mass on Oct. 20, and is being prayed daily after the 8 a.m. Mass through Oct. 28. Richard Husted, OFM, is pastor.
About St. Jude
Jude, often known as a source of strength and hope, lived in the early part of the last millineum. Legend has it that he was born in the Galilee portion of ancient Palestine and that he went to Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) around 37 A.D.
The Scriptures say very little about Jude, according to the St. Bonaventure Church bulletin. In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, Jude is called Thaddeus to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. It is believed that Jude traveled to Persia, where he was martyred. His body was carried to Rome for burial in St. Peter’s Basilica.
St Jude is often shown in paintings with a flame around his head. This represents his presense at Pentecost, when he received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles.
Details about St. Jude’s life as well as devotions in honor of St. Jude can be found on the St. Jude Novena Web site.