Sts Simon and Jude, Apostles ~ The Rev. Lady Sherwood, OPI
Today we as a church commemorate the joint feasts of St’s Simon and Jude. St Simon was called the Cananaen or Canaanite because he was born in the Galilean town of Cana. This is the town in which our Lord Jesus wrought his first miracle by changing water into wine as is known to us from the Gospel. Some including Nicephorous have the opinion that Simon was the bridegroom of this wedding at which Our Lord Jesus and his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary honoured with their presence and that later with the consent of his bride, Simon left to follow Christ. This account though is disputed by others. St. Jude according to some traditions is believed to be the brother of Simon and is also named Thaddseus to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot who was the one who betrayed the Lord before his crucifixion. According to Nicephorous, Mary Cleophas was the mother to Simon and Jude and James the less was also their brother. Other writers and traditions however say that Simon and Jude were not brothers.
On the various lists of the twelve Apostles (Matthew 10:2=4, Mark 3:16=19, Luke 16:14=16, Acts 1:13), the tenth and eleventh places are occupied by St. Simon and St. Jude.
We are told in the Gospel that Our Lord Jesus chose both Simon and Jude to be his Apostles, but when and under what circumstances this took place, has not been recorded and none of the particulars of their works are known by us, however, we know for sure that like all the Apostles, they constantly followed Christ.
When the apostles separated to preach the Gospel, according to some traditions, Simon first travelled to Eygpt and St. Jude to Mesopotamia. Both also travelled to other lands preaching the Word of Christ and that after thirty years they met again in Persia. Other traditions say that both Simon and Jude went together as missionaries to Persia and were martyred there.
St. Jude is often referred to as the Patron of desperate causes, the ‘saint of last resort’, and is the one often asked for help when all else fails. Since his name reminds many of Judas of Iscariot, there is a tendency to ask for intercession from any of the other Apostles first.
Let us pray:
You revealed yourself to us through the preaching of your Apostles Simon and Jude. By their prayers, give your church continued growth and increase the number of those who believe in you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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