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Saint Jude was one of Jesus' original Twelve Disciples, the author of the Epistle of Jude, and a Christian martyr. He is also known as Judas Jaccobi, Jude Thaddeus, Judas Lebbeus, Lebbeus, and Thaddeus. Born in Galilee, the son of Alpheus (sometimes listed as Cleophas) and Mary, he was a fisherman and the brother of Saint James the Less and first cousin of Jesus, who called him to be an Apostle. It was Jude who annointed the body of Christ after His crucifixion. Apart from his epistle, written around 80 AD, not much is known of the Apostle. Emphasizing the purity of the Christian faith and the importance of perseverence and a good reputation, his epistle is thought to have been an inspiration for the Second Epistle of Peter. Jude plays a part in the apocryphal Passion of Simon and Jude, where he is depicted as a healer and an exorcist, capable of expelling demons from pagan idols, causing the idols to crumble. Along with Saint Simon, he departed from Palestine to evangelize Persia. There is a tradition that he was martyred there; although the manner of death varies, it is most commonly believed that he was beaten to death with a club, then beheaded. The time of death is placed on July 1, the day the Feast of Simon and Jude is celebrated by the Eastern Church; although the Western Church celebrates the feast on October 28, the day that his relics were moved to Saint Peters in Rome in the 7th or 8th century. Catholic art depicts Jude as a young or middle-aged bearded man holding a carpenter's rule or a club, saw or axe. He is also sometimes shown with books or a scroll, commemorating his epistle. Fish, boats or oars that sometimes appear in artwork symbolize his profession as a fisherman. Saint Jude is the patron saint of the forgotten, desperate situations, lost or impossible causes, as well as hospitals and hospital workers. It is thought that his patronage of lost and impossible causes stems from the confusion that many Christians made between Jude and Judas Iscariot, not understanding the difference between the names. Because of this, Christians did not often pray for Jude's help, and devotion to him was viewed as a lost cause.



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