Feast of the Apostles – Sts Simon and Jude – 28 October
St Simon Apostle of Christ – Apostle, Martyr, Preacher, Evangelist, Missionary – also known as St Simon the Zealot. Patronages – curriers, sawmen, sawyers, tanners, woodcutters, Monterchi, Italy. St Simon was called the Cananean or Zealot because of his zeal for the Jewish law; he was not from Cana, nor a member of the Zealot party.
Like all the Apostles, he was a convert and was trained by Saint Peter the Apostle. He evangelised in Egypt and Mesopotamia, though there are traditions of him being in several other locations. He was a Martyr for the faith but several places claim to have been the site of his martyrdom and in several different ways too. St Simon’s main attribute is a serrated saw as it is believed that he was he was sawn in half at Suanir, Persia. Many locations claim to have relics including Toulouse, France and Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy.
St Jude Apostle of Christ – Martyr, Evangelist, Preacher, Missionary, Writer – also known as – Jude of James, Judas Thaddaeus, Jude, brother of Jesus – Patronages – Armenia, lost cause, desperate situations, hospitals, the Chicago Police Department, 13 cities, the Philippines. Saint Jude’s attribute is a club. He is also often shown in icons with a flame around his head. This represents his presence at Pentecost, when he received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles. Another common attribute is Jude holding an image of Jesus Christ, known as the Image of Edessa. In some instances, he may be shown with a scroll or a book (the Epistle of Jude) or holding a carpenter’s rule.
His patronage of lost or impossible causes traditionally derives from confusion by many early Christians between Jude and the traitor Judas Iscariot – not understanding the difference between the names, they never prayed for Jude’s help and devotion to him became something of a lost cause.
He was beaten to death with a club, then beheaded post-mortem in 1st century Persia. His relics are at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy, at Rheims, France and at Toulouse, France.
Simon was a simple Galilean, a brother of Jesus, as the ancients called one’s close relatives — aunts, uncles, first cousins. He was one of the Saviour’s four first cousins, with James the Less, Jude and Joseph, all sons of Mary, the wife of Alpheus, or Cleophas, either name being a derivative of the Aramaic Chalphai. The latter was the brother of Saint Joseph, according to tradition. All the sons of this family were raised at Nazareth near the Holy Family. (See the Gospel of Saint Matthew 13:53-58.) Simon, Jude and James were called by Our Lord to be Apostles, pillars of His Church and Joseph the Just was His loyal disciple.
Saint Simon the Zealot or the Zealous, was the name this Apostle bore among the twelve. He preached in Egypt, Mauritania (Spain) and Lybia, leaving behind him the fertile hills of Galilee, where he had been engaged in the healthful cultivation of the vineyards and olive gardens. He later rejoined his brother, Saint Jude, in Persia, where they laboured and died together (other traditions of their deaths in different locations exist too). At first they were respected by the king, for they had manifested power over two ferocious tigers who had terrorised the land. With the king, sixty thousand Persians became Christians and churches rose over the ruins of the idolatrous temples. But the ancient enemy, who never sleeps, rose up and when the two went elsewhere the pagans commanded them to sacrifice to the sun which led to their martyrdom.
Saint Jude has left us a short but powerful epistle, written after the death of his brother James, bishop of Jerusalem and addressed to the new Christians being tempted by false brethren and heretics.
St Simon Apostle at St John Lateran
St Jude Apostle at St John Lateran