We have all come to a point in our lives where we have felt the need to cry out to God. Perhaps something tragic has happened to you or someone you know, or perhaps you have stumbled in your daily walk and desire a change to occur. There are many resources out there in the contemporary era to help combat these issues, from inspirational memoirs to self help literature and so on, but sometimes with this oversaturation of help, we, as Christians, forget the simplest and most important step in any process: prayer. Therefore, we at The Modern Catholic invite you to undertake a spiritual journey and commitment: praying a novena to St. Jude.
Who Is St. Jude?
Source: Shrine of Saint Jude
St. Jude is the patron saint of hope, which in a modern sense has been to tackle horrific issues like childhood cancer, but he is said to intercede for any cause. His status of a saint is an interesting one due to his dual importance to the church. First and foremost, he was one of the Twelve Disciples of Christ, meaning he is one of the founding members of the church, along such strong members such as St. Peter and St. Andrew. St. Jude is also said to have been a relative of Christ, although the exact relationship is not specified, some scholars saying cousins and others saying half-brothers. The family of Christ has been known to play powerful roles in the church, such as St. James, author of the book of James, John the Baptist, the Elijah who paved the way for the Messiah, and the Virgin Mary, the blessed mother of the Savior. This also implies that not only did he contribute to the church, but that he had an extremely close relationship with Christ as well. Jude, like his brother James, also contributed to the Bible with his own epistle, the book of Jude. Catholics honor both St. Jude and St. Simon together on the same day, October 28th.
What Is A Novena?
A novena is essentially a petition of prayer for nine whole days. When you take up a novena, you are making a commitment to focus on an issue and praying with consistency. Each day should be filled with prayer and vigilance for the answers that God reveals himself through. This novena in particular can be said at any time of the year, but is typically prayed in the days leading up to the feast of St. Jude.
What Is The Novena?
The novena of St. Jude is read as follows:
Most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant
and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and
invokes you universally as the patron of hope.
Please intercede on my behalf. Make use of that
particular privilege given to you to bring
hope, comfort, and help where they are needed most.
Come to my assistance in this great
need that I may receive the consolation
and help of heaven as I work with my
challenges, particularly (here make your request).
I praise God with you and all the saints forever.
I promise, blessed St. Jude, to be ever
mindful of this great favor, to always
honor you as my special and powerful patron
and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.
At this point it is customary to then recite one “Our Father” one “Hail Mary,” and lastly a “Glory Be”
There are many who hold to the claim that this form of prayer works, and that before the nine days are even over there have been signs and wonders able to be witnessed in day-to-day life. This is why the commitment of daily prayer and vigilance is important. After all, Christ highlighted the importance of coming to the point of constant prayer in Matthew 7:7 (NIV),
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Therefore, we invite you to knock on the door of heaven for nine days, praying that God will hear your plea for help. There is no task too big for God to handle, nor question too complicated for God to answer. A great starting point for this dialogue with God is to remember the intercession of St. Jude.
Ian Tash has written for Cool College helpers, the Haiku Journal, and the L.A. Times (more specifically, the L.A. Affairs column), and also tries to update his Ian Tash Facebook page whenever he has a chance. He has an incredible love of entertainment, both in creating his own and analyzing the works of others. Ian currently lives in Bakersfield, CA and works as a draftsman by trade and dedicated his time to building up local churches and fellow believers.