United States

Relics of St. Jude Thaddeus arrive in the United States

A relic of the apostle St. Jude Thaddeus will tour 100 cities in the United States between 2023 and 2024. It will be displayed for veneration not only in parishes but also in Catholic schools and even prisons.

Gonzalo Meza-September 9, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes
Jude Thaddeus

St. Jude Thaddeus (Flickr)

A relic of the Apostle St. Jude Thaddeus will tour 100 cities in the United States from September 2023 to May 2024. This is the first time that a first-degree relic of the saint of "difficult and desperate causes" has left Italy. It is a fragment of bone from the arm of St. Jude Thaddeus that is currently kept in the church of San Salvatore in Lauro in Rome. The relic will be in several cities in the states of Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Michigan, New York, Texas, Oregon and California. It will be displayed for veneration not only in parishes but also in Catholic schools and even in prisons.

Father Carlos Martins, "Custos Reliquiarum", will lead this pilgrimage in the USA. In this regard, the prelate said: "This pilgrimage comes at a time when the country is still recovering from the consequences of the pandemic. The apostle's visit is an effort of the Church to give comfort and hope to those in need," he said. Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest Emeritus of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, where the tomb of St. Jude is located, said: "I am pleased to accompany with my prayers and blessing the pilgrimage of the relic of St. Jude to the United States. With the necessary authorizations, it was allowed to go on pilgrimage to bring to the Catholic communities of the United States a breath of fervor and a renewed will to follow the missionary zeal of the apostles".

St. Jude Thaddeus in the Church

Papias of Hierapolis mentions in his "Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord" that Judas Thaddaeus is the son of Mary of Clopas, one of the women who remained at the foot of the cross in the Passion of the Lord. In the list of the twelve apostles Simon the Canaanite and Judas Thaddaeus always appear together. The New Testament refers to him as "Judas of James" (Lk 6:16; Acts 1:13) and to distinguish him from Iscariot, he is called "Thaddaeus" (Mt 10:3; Mk 3:18). Benedict XVI says in this regard: "It is not known for certain where the nickname Thaddaeus comes from and it is explained as coming from the Aramaic taddà', which means 'chest' and therefore would mean 'magnanimous', or as an abbreviation of a Greek name such as 'Theodore, Theodotus'". His only words are presented in the Gospel of John, during the Last Supper: "Judas - not Iscariot - says to him: 'Lord, what is it that you are going to manifest yourself to us and not to the world?'" (Jn 14:22). The New Testament canon includes a letter attributed to Jude Thaddaeus.

One of the traditions, referred to in the "Passion of Simon and Jude" states that St. Jude and Simon the Canaanite went to Persia to proclaim the Gospel and were martyred there. The relics were transferred to Rome during the time of Emperor Constantine. Both lie in a tomb in the altar of St. Joseph, on the left side of the transept of St. Peter's Basilica. The relic of the fragment of the arm that he will visit in the USA is preserved in the Roman parish of San Salvatore in Lauro. Its liturgical feast is celebrated on October 28. 

The schedule and the route of the relic can be viewed at HERE.

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