Feast Day - 28th October - Ss Simon and Jude
A short devotional to one of my patron saints - my mother has spent her life praying to St Jude (saint of the last resort) on my behalf - I almost feel we are family.
Strangely Jude was also called Thaddaeus, a perfectly good name which would make you wonder why the church would give him his other name which everyone mixes up with Judas Escariot - giving rise to one of the theories as to why 'the last resort' - trouble with names is mud sticks - and you can well imagine that people would not wish to be heard praying to the person who betrayed Jesus, so if you had to pray to Jude it would be a last resort.
Another idea comes from the missionary work that he and his friend Simon did. They were out in Mesopotamia and Persia preaching to the pagans and taming tigers. Back in Jerusalem there were early Christians wishing to speak with the original Apostles not the disciples (you know the type who only ever want the priest). As the Apostles were martyred one by one this became more and more difficult but Jude did last quite a while (into the 60's) but going all the way to Persia to see him would have been a Last Resort.
Is it true? Does it matter? We know so little about most of the Apostles we can make up our own stories but it's nice to know there is a doorway for Last Resorts.
What is important, especially to non-Catholics and others who think praying to saints is next to idolatory, that you don't get what you need from the saint, you get it from God, and the saint is only a friendly face helping you to pass the message on. It helps us remember that we and all those who have gone before are just living on both sides of a doorway, a la Stargate. We may not see them but the communication link is always there. Paul calls us all saints, we have all been saved. Which reminds me, I must ask my mother if she thinks her prayers have ever been answered.