Today is the Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, honoring the foundation of our Church: the Apostles, chosen by Christ to continue his mission as leaders of the church. St. Jude is one of the most popular of the apostles, even though he is one of the most obscure. He did nothing in his life that has been noted or recorded, and yet, his name is renowned throughout the world as the “Saint of the impossible,” the one we turn to when life becomes impossible.
I was raised with a deep awareness of the power of this Saint’s intercession. My mom enrolled me in the protective care of St. Jude for travelers. I still have my St. Jude medallion in my car, as he and mom watch over me behind the wheel. I need more often to invoke St. Jude while driving, as someone is tailgating me (I truly hate this) or when someone cuts me off.
St. Jude is invoked by countless people who are at the end of their ropes, when life has become nearly hopeless. The famed actor, Danny Thomas invoked St. Jude as he faced some insurmountable problems, promising to build a children’s hospital if this Saint came to his aid. St. Jude helped Thomas and a great children’s hospital came into existence, and it continues to help children in desperate need of healing.
Why do we love such a person we know little or nothing about? Think about it, how much do we really know about the Blessed Virgin Mary? Or Jesus, for that matter? The Spirit inspires the ways that these Saints have entered our lives. It is through the Holy Spirit that faith is ignited and traditions are born. Christ acts through each one of us to keep his presence and mission alive in every age. We get to know any Saint through the Spirit when we pray.
We can live with someone everyday and actually know little about them. Those we think we know so well may actually be strangers. I have a relationship with Jude, Mary, Francis and Teresa that is rooted in the Spirit of Christ, who makes them known to me. These physically unseen and unmet people walk with us on this, our pilgrimage of faith, never leaving us alone. They help us, guide us, love us, lead us, comfort us in a communion of love and friendship.