Here at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, we have a beautiful fountain where our children, coworkers, and benefactors might all visit to enjoy the serenity and tranquility of the sound of water. One afternoon, I was sitting out by this fountain with some of our young men and the youngest pointed out a statue set prominently behind the fountain. The young boy asked who the statue depicted. I informed him that it was Saint Jude and explained that he was one of Jesus’ 12 Apostles.
We continued this conversation as we moved into the Jesus the Healer Chapel and discussed the life of Jesus and His Apostles. There is very little mentioned about Saint Jude in the Bible. However, he is named in each of the four Gospels, sometimes as Judas and other times as Thaddeus. So little is known about the life of Jude, that it is even unclear when he first met Jesus. However, it is quite obvious that he believed in Christ and so gave up his life as he knew it to follow Him.
Jude clearly had been grappling with why Jesus had revealed Himself to the Apostles but not to the rest of the world. And so, Jude asked this question of Jesus in the Gospel of John. Jesus replied by saying, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” Therefore, Jude and all of the Apostles learned that Christ and the Father will visit those people who keep the Commandments.
Like the rest of his life, little is known about Jude during Christ’s crucifixion. However, Jude was present during the Ascension, as well as at Pentecost. After this time, Jude began to spread the Gospel like the rest of the Apostles. He traveled as far as Persia, which is present-day Iran, with Saint Simon. It was in Persia that he and Saint Simon were martyred. Statues of Saint Jude’s image have him holding a club, for he was beaten to death by the Persians while he tried to speak to them about converting to Christianity. Other images of Saint Jude depict him with a flame over his head to signify that he was present at Pentecost. The remains for both Saint Jude and Saint Simon were eventually brought to Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, where they are today.
“OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE ANYTHING BUT “LOST CAUSES.” IN FACT, I BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE PROOF OF SAINT JUDE’S AID IN OUR MISSION OF CARING FOR CHILDREN…”
Over the years, Saint Jude has become known as the Patron Saint of lost causes, to whom people pray when all hope has been lost. It is for this reason that I believe that it is fitting for Mercy Home for Boys & Girls to have a statue of Saint Jude. Prior to coming to Mercy Home, many of our young people view their lives as “lost causes.” However, thanks to the intercession of Saint Jude, and to our many benefactors, our young people have the ability to thrive under the structure and direction they receive here at Mercy Home. Our young people are anything but “lost causes.” In fact, I believe that they are proof of Saint Jude’s aid in our mission of caring for children in crisis here at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.