Unlike the apostles Peter and John, the Apostle Jude was one of Jesus’ most mysterious and lesser-known disciples. He received only a handful of mentions in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), the gospel of John, and the book of Acts. The two Judes (or Judases) completed Jesus’ circle of disciples, but they were distinguished from each other by their surnames with one being Iscariot and the other Thaddeus. His identity became more confusing as some verses mentioned him as the brother of Jesus and James (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3), while another verse identified him as the son of James (Luke 6:16). According to tradition, he was also identified as the son of Clopas and Mary, the Virgin Mary’s cousin.
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It was only in the gospel of John that Jude got a “speaking part” when he asked Jesus why he chose to reveal himself to his disciples and not to the whole world. All his other deeds during Jesus’ short ministry were not recorded in all four gospels. Jude was mentioned once again in the Book of Acts as one of the disciples who remained with the small group of new Christians after Jesus’ death and ascension.
Jude was credited with writing the brief epistle that bore his name and written between 65 to 80 AD. The epistle—addressed to unknown recipients—dealt with the danger of believing in false teachers and was ended with a call to remain steadfast in the Christian faith. Apart from this epistle, all other information associated with Jude the apostle can be gleaned only from tradition. Such as his mission in the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Cyrenaica (Libya), as well as his return to Jerusalem in 62 AD to help in the election of his brother, St. Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem.
It was said that he died as a martyr in Syria along with another apostle, Simon the Zealot, and venerated as patron saint of desperate causes and situations. His feast day is celebrated every 28th of October.
Picture By Anthony van Dyck – , Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5266986
“St. Jude Thaddaeus – Saints & Angels – Catholic Online.” Catholic Online. Accessed August 24, 2016. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=127.
Cruz, Joan Carroll. Relics: What They Are and Why They Matter. Charlotte, NC: Tan Books, 2015