Relic of St. Jude, patron of impossible cases, coming to three parishes in diocese

North Texas Catholic
(Apr 2, 2024) Local

GROTTO ST. JUDE -- A small grotto dedicated to St. Jude greets visitors to the prayer garden at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington. Although many pray for his intercession, the story of the Apostle of Jesus is one of the least known of the saints. (CNS photo by Nancy Wiechec, Oct. 21, 1998)

MANSFIELD — In addition to April 8th's total solar eclipse, the faithful in the Diocese of Fort Worth will enjoy another rarity in the days ahead: the opportunity to view and venerate a relic of one of the Apostles.

An American tour of a bone fragment from St. Jude's arm that began in September includes stops at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Keller on April 2, St. Jude in Mansfield on April 3, and St. Michael in Bedford on April 9.

One of the Twelve Apostles, St. Jude was martyred about 65 A.D. in Beirut. Emperor Constantine, in 333 A.D., transferred St. Jude's remains to Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome where they remained until now.

“A relic of one of the Apostles is something very rare and extraordinary,” Father Daniel Kelley, pastor of St. Jude Church, said of the relic's imminent appearance at his parish. “As something that most people only have an opportunity to see if they travel to Rome, we consider ourselves very blessed to have something so sacred coming to our parish.”

relic of arm bone
This wooden, arm-shaped reliquary holds bones from an arm of St. Jude the Apostle, which began a nine-month tour of U.S. in Chicago Sept. 9, 2023. After stops in three other Illinois parishes and three in Wisconsin, the relic went to Minnesota, including St. Jude of the Lake Church in Mahtomedi Sept. 20. Six sites in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis were hosting the relic Sept. 18-23. (OSV News photo/courtesy Father Carlos Martins)

Father Ed Hopkins, parochial vicar at St. Jude Parish, spoke of his anticipation of the relic's arrival.

“The opportunity to see a relic like this makes you realize the gravity of the situation,” Fr. Hopkins said. “This is different than reading about someone in that it hits home that this person actually existed, and these events actually happened. We're getting an opportunity to venerate someone who was tightly, closely involved with the savior of the world. St. Jude knew Jesus as a friend and student. He was at the Last Supper. This is incredible.”

Father Carlos Martins, head of Treasures of the Church, an evangelization ministry dedicated to giving people an experience of God through relics of the saints, is overseeing the American tour.

“It's been very popular,” Fr. Martins said of the experience so far. “We've seen thousands come to each stop and have seen standing room only at many parishes.”

Stephanie Supple, an administrator at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Lafayette, Louisiana, described the relic's March 14 stop at her parish as inspiring.

“We had about 350 people for the Mass and more than 1,000 who came through to venerate the relic.”

According to “Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord,” by Church Father Papias of Hierapolis, Jude is the son of Mary of Cleophas, one of the women at the foot of the cross during Christ's crucifixion. Mary of Cleophas was also the Virgin Mary's sister, making Jude the Lord's cousin.

One of the Church's most popular saints, St. Jude is the patron saint of seemingly hopeless and impossible causes and one many turn to in times of great difficulty and stress.

“What we want is for people to experience the touch of heaven,” Fr. Martins said of his hopes for those planning to see St. Jude's relic. “That they experience God through these sacred remains of his saints.”

Fr. Hopkins agreed and added that he hopes the encounter with St. Jude's relic helps increase devotion and awareness of Christ both within St. Jude's parish and the community beyond.

Saint Jude, relic, Diocese of Fort Worth, Twelve Apostles, trending-english