Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Celebrating the Feast Day of St. Simon and St. Jude

From The Liturgical Year (by Abbot Gueranger O.S.B)

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Sts. Simon and Jude whose names occur together in the Canon of the Mass and are also celebrated on the same day. Possibly this is because they both preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and Persia where it is said they had both been sent, but in actual fact we know nothing for certain about them beyond what is told us of their being called as Apostles in the New Testament. St. Jude is the author of a short Epistle which forms part of the New Testament.

Sts. Simon and Jude
However meagre in details is the history of these glorious apostles, we learn from their brief legend how amply they contributed to this great work of generating sons of God. Without any repose, and even to the shedding of their blood, they "edified the body of Christ"; and the grateful Church thus prays to our Lord today: "O God, through the work of the apostles you have spoken your Word of love, your Son, into our world's deafness. Open our ears to hear; open our hearts to heed; open our will to obey, that we may proclaim the good news with our lives."
St. Simon is represented in art with a saw, the instrument of his martyrdom. St. Jude's square points him out as an architect of the house of God. St. Paul called himself by this name; and St. Jude, by his Catholic Epistle, has also a special right to be reckoned among our Lord's principal workmen. But our apostle had another nobility, far surpassing all earthly titles: being nephew, by his father Cleophas or Alpheus, to St. Joseph, and legal cousin to the Man-God, Jude was one of those called by their compatriots the brethren of the carpenter's Son. We may gather from St. John's Gospel another precious detail concerning him. In the admirable discourse at the close of the last Supper, our Lord said: "He that loveth Me, shall be loved of My Father: and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him." Then Jude asked Him: "Lord, how is it, that Thou wilt manifest Thyself to us, and not to the world?" And he received from Jesus this reply: "If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My word. And the word which you have heard is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me."
The churches of St. Peter in Rome and Saint-Sernin at Toulouse dispute the honor of possessing the greater part of their holy remains.
St. Jude
Patron: Desperate situations; forgotten causes; hospital workers; hospitals; impossible causes; lost causes; diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida.
Symbols: Bearded man holding an oar, a boat, boat hook, a club, an axe or a book; nearly every image depicts him wearing a medallion with a profile of Jesus, and usually with a small flame above his head; often carries a pen or sits at a writing location to make reference to the canonical Epistle; sailboat; inverted cross; square; halbert; club; loaves and fish; long cross; knotted club; boat hook; fuller's bat; lance; saw; flail; closed book; shield: red with sailboat with a cross on the mast.
St. Simon
Patron: Curriers; sawmen; sawyers; tanners.
Symbols: Boat; fish; man being sawn in two longitudinally; fish and book; oar; saw; two fishes; lance; fuller's bat; axe; cross; saw and oar saltire; fish on a boat hood; sword; shield: red background with two oars and a hatchet.

Some Ideas for Honoring the Day With the Children
+  Recipes for Apostle Cookies can be found here, at Catholic Culture.
+  The charming and talented City Wife at City Wife, Country Life, shares a coloring page for St. Jude here.  Coloring pages for St. Simon, however, are basically impossible to find. (Hmmm...  Maybe I should appeal to St. Jude for one??)    It is possible, however to use one of the two above black and white prints of both saints, for the children to color and craft into bookmarks or use as illustrations on copy pages. (Unfortunately they'll pixilate something awful if you enlarge them.)  It's also possible to take the colorful icon above and print it out in black and white for the children to tint.  I do this often, using a lighter shade on the grey scale on my copier.
+  Remembering the piety and zeal of  Saints Jude and Simon, and their service and love for Christ and His Church -- to the sacrifice of their lives in imitation of Our Lord: Discuss what service to Christ means in the children's station in life.  How can they serve others in love of Jesus?  Theirs is not likely a calling to martyrdom, but how can they make small sacrifices for the happiness and "smooth-running" of their own worlds?  Can they give specific examples of how they can help in the home or at school?  Can they remember to serve without complaint as the apostles did?  Can they work together toward a common good as Simon and Jude did?
+ St. Jude is well-known as the "saint of impossible causes."  What would the children consider an "impossible cause?"  Can they determine the difference between a worthy petition for a difficult situation  and a "pie-in-the-sky" request for something frivolous (i.e: the curing of a terminal cancer patient vs. a trip to Disneyland for a family that is financially strapped)?   Are there times when St. Jude's intercession would result in a "no" answer from Our Heavenly Father?  Why would this sometimes be the case?  Do we always know?  But does God know best?  Together, make a list of impossible -- or difficult -- causes that are worthy to place at the feet of St. Jude today.
My personal prayer:  Saints Jude and Simon, please intercede to save our world from the slippery slope it's sliding down, mentally, physically, economically, but mostly spiritually.  Guide our country in moral choices for its leaders in our coming election.  Influence me in my every day choices and decisions to do all for love of Christ -- as you did.  Amen.


catholicnursemom said...
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Lisa said...
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