Today begins the Saint Jude Novena, worldwide of course but locally at Saint Michael’s Church, (252 Ninth Street) – where they hold a “perpetual” novena to Saint Jude every Tuesday. Novena is Latin for nine. There will be nine days of consecutive prayer for intercession from Saint Jude, culminating in a special mass on his feast day. October 28th.
Saint Jude – one of the 12 apostles, a cousin to Jesus Christ and the author of a short doxological epistles, the last epistle in the New Testament, appearing just before the Book of Revelation.
Unlike many Saints, Saint Jude is not “owned” a single nationality. There are shrines and churches dedicated to Saint Jude in nearly every country in the world, including Italy, India, and the Philippines and throughout Latin America. Devotion to Jude crosses boundaries of culture, country and ethnicity.
Here’s an excerpt About Aaron Neville’s devotion to Saint Jude from “A Sunday Vistior, 1997”:
Neville recalls how, during this difficult period, his mother told him about Saint Jude, the saint of hopeless cases. She also told him that she enlisted Saint Jude in her prayers for him.
"My mother turned me on to Saint Jude. She was, like, devout to him. See my earring?" He points to his left ear. He looks down, clasping his hands. "I was going through changes in life. My mother saw me going through these changes, and she taught me Saint Jude's Novena and she
brought me to Saint Ann's shrine. She was always praying for us, you know, but I had to learn to pray for me, too."
Following his mother's death, Neville sought solace in New Orleans' spirit-filled churches. He visited Saint Ann's shrine daily, a cave like place where visitors climb the steps on their knees.
"It was a good feeling going up those steps, praying for a miracle," he says. "One day, I remembered my mother telling me about Saint Jude, and I started going wherever I heard they were having a Saint Jude Novena."
Neville has dedicated each of his record-selling albums to Saint Jude. And he ends each with a hymn. "I think things happened the way they did for a reason," he says. "The best prayer in the world is 'Let thy will be done,' because God knows what you want. So say, 'Don't give me what I want; give me what I need.' There's a purpose for you being here, foreach of us being here."
Saint Jude is the patron saint of lost causes and desperate situations. People pray for his intercession when there’s no other hope. There are plenty of websites dedicate to Devotions to Saint Jude. Pre-internet, in classified sections of newspapers, devotees to Devotions to Saint Jude would print their testimonials when their prayers were answered. Now you can find these honest and moving pieces online.
Here’s a selection of some.
...My daughter had run away from home with one of her friends. Both girls are 16 years old and out there without I knowing what going on with them or where they were. I was advised to pray to Saint Jude for help and I did. I asked for them to come home safely. In 10 days my prayers had answered and I am thankful. Thanks to God....Thanks again for making it all possible for my daughter to return home safely. I remain, yours respectfully,
-- Brooklyn, NY
Dear Fathers or Sisters,
...Saint Jude has performed a miracle. My daughter was diagnosed with cancer on January 14, 1997. She underwent chemotherapy and now is having radiation. She was sent a letter from the hospital showing no cancer. I am devoted to Saint Jude for many years. To me this is a miracle. I have prayed to him for many years. Devotee yours I am,
I promised Saint Jude to publish a miracle if my two sons
were out of jail, and they are now out of it thanks to
his intervention. Could you publish it please?
Last year my son in law Daniel Riordan was diagnosed with an
esophagus malignant tumor. He also had a major heart attack, open heart surgery and a major stroke in a period of six weeks. We sent in for Novena's and masses to Saint Jude. His tumor is in remission and heart is good. He had another stroke but seems to be doing well. The doctors gave him six months to live and can't believe how well he is. We give most of the credit for this to Saint Jude and your prayers. Thank you so much. Please keep praying for him. You are always in our prayers.
Thank you again.
God and Saint Jude bless you.