Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ss. Simon and Jude

Ss. Simon and Jude in Persia
We hear a lot about our Lady, Ss. Peter and John, and St. Paul in the Gospel and Acts of the Apostles, but for information on the other Apostles we tend to rely upon secondary sources, traditions, and martyrologies. Today we celebrate the feast of Ss. Simon and Jude—transferred after the feast of Christ the King superseded it yesterday—one of those days whose Apostolic saints requires a look beyond the Gospel and Acts.

From the Roman Martyrology:
Simon the Canaanite, called also Zelotes, went through Egypt preaching the Gospel, while as the like was done in Mesopotamia by Thaddaeus, called also in the Gospel Jude the brother of James, and the writer of one of the Catholic Epistles. They met together afterwards in Persia, where they begat countless children in Jesus Christ, spread the faith far and wide in those lands, amid raging heathens, and glorified together by their teaching and miracles, and, in the end, by a glorious martyrdom, the most holy name of Jesus Christ.
In St. Jude's epistle he exhorts the Church to hew to the faith given to believers, as the Jews received faith from God during tribulation in Egypt, and expel those who contaminate it with their perverse belief and lax reverence:
1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James: to them that are beloved in God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.
2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and charity be fulfilled.
3 Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.
4 For certain men are secretly entered in, (who were written of long ago unto this judgment,) ungodly men, turning the grace of our Lord God into riotousness, and denying the only sovereign Ruler, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore admonish you, though ye once knew all things, that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, did afterwards destroy them that believed not:
6 And the angels who kept not their principality, but forsook their own habitation, he hath reserved under darkness in everlasting chains, unto the judgment of the great day.
7 As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.
8 In like manner these men also defile the flesh, and despise dominion, and blaspheme majesty.
9 When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee.
10 But these men blaspheme whatever things they know not: and what things soever they naturally know, like dumb beasts, in these they are corrupted.
11 Woe unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain: and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves, and have perished in the contradiction of Core.
12 These are spots in their banquets, feasting together without fear, feeding themselves, clouds without water, which are carried about by winds, trees of the autumn, unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots,
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion; wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness is reserved for ever. (Epistle of St Jude, 1:1-13)
 St. Jude is also the patron saint of lost causes!—such as St. Jude's parish in the delightful BBC sitcom Bless Me, Father, a pun on 1950s Irish Catholicism in England written by heretical ex-priest Peter DeRosa.

In this episode, one of my favorites, Fr. D tries to beat the Anglican curate to the burial of a dead seaman in order to collect the deceased's insurance policy!

St. Jude was venerated in Armenia from ancient days until the Mohammadan persecutions in the 19th century. He still enjoys veneration in Spain and Italy.

O most holy apostle, Saint Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honoureth and invoketh thee universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, and of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, who am so miserable. Make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded to thee, to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of. Come to mine assistance in this great need, that I may receive the consolation and succor of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (here make your request) and that I may praise God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity. I promise thee, O blessed Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favour, to always honour thee as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to thee. Amen.

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