Jude (Greek: Ἰούδας Ἰακώβου translit. Ioúdas Iakóbou; Syriac/Aramaic: ܝܗܘܕܐ[3] translit. Yahwada) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. He is generally identified as Thaddeus (Greek: Θαδδαῖος; Armenian: Թադեոս; Coptic: ⲑⲁⲇⲇⲉⲟⲥ) and is also variously called Judas Thaddaeus, Jude Thaddaeus, Jude of James, or Lebbaeus.[4] He is sometimes identified with Jude, the brother of Jesus, but is clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus prior to his crucifixion. Catholic writer Michal Hunt suggests that Judas Thaddaeus became known as Jude after early translators of the New Testament from Greek into English sought to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and subsequently abbreviated his forename.[5] Most versions of the New Testament in languages other than English and French refer to Judas and Jude by the same name.[6]

Jude the Apostle
The Apostle Judas Thaddeus by Anthony van Dyck
Apostle and Martyr
Born1st century AD
Galilee, Judea
Diedc. AD 65
Venerated inAll Christian denominations that venerate saints
Major shrineSt. Thaddeus Armenian Monastery, northern Iran; St. Peter's Basilica, Rome; Reims, Toulouse, France[citation needed]
Feast28 October (Western Christianity)
19 June and 30 June,
(Eastern Christianity)[1]
AttributesAxe, club, canon, medallion
PatronageArmenia; lost causes; desperate situations; hospitals; St. Petersburg, Florida; Cotta;[2] the Chicago Police Department; Clube de Regatas do Flamengo (in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); places in the Philippines (Lucena in Quezon, Sibalom in Antique, and Trece Martires in Cavite); and Sinajana (in Guam)

The Armenian Apostolic Church honors Thaddeus along with Saint Bartholomew as its patron saints. In the Catholic Church, he is the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes.[7]

Jude is commonly depicted with 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, 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.[8]

Jude the Apostle, detail of the mosaic in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, 6th century



New Testament


Jude is clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, another apostle and later the betrayer of Jesus. Both Jude and Judas are translations of the name Ὶούδας in the Koine Greek original text of the New Testament, which in turn is a Greek variant of Judah (Y'hudah), a name which was common among Jews at the time. In most Bibles in languages other than English and French, Jude and Judas are referred to by the same name.

Aside from Judas Iscariot, the New Testament mentions Jude or Judas six times, in four different contexts:

  1. "Jude of James", one of the twelve apostles (Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13);
  2. "Judas, (not Judas Iscariot)", apparently an apostle (John 14:22);
  3. the brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3);
  4. the writer of the Epistle of Jude, who identifies himself as "the brother of James" (Jude 1).

Protestants generally believe 1 and 2 to be one person,[9] although theologian Raymond Brown saw the identification as uncertain.[10]

Brother of James or son of James?


Translations into English from the original Greek of the New Testament vary in their rendering of Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13. A literal translation of the references to Jude in these passages gives "Jude of James" (Greek: Ἰούδας Ἰακώβου), as in Young's Literal Translation of the Bible, but scholars differ on whether this means "Jude, brother of James" or "Jude, son of James". The King James and the Douay-Rheims versions call him "Judas the brother of James", making him the same person as the writer of the Epistle of Jude, who identifies himself as "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James" (Jude 1:1).

Most modern translations (including the New International Version, Revised Standard Version and New Revised Standard Version), identify him as "Jude the son of James", and not the same person as the author of the Epistle of Jude. Protestant scholar Darrell L. Bock writes that it must mean "son" not "brother", because when "brother" is intended, the Greek word for "brother" (adelphos) is present.[11] Bock also says that means he was not the brother of Jesus. Additionally the use of the genitive case of "James" (Iakovou) in Greek, usually signifies or implies the person's father to be distinguished from his homonyms.[12]

Brother of Jesus?


Opinion is divided on whether Jude the apostle was also Jude, brother of Jesus, the traditional author of the Epistle of Jude.[13] Generally, Catholics believe the two Judes are the same person.[14]

According to the surviving fragments of the work Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord of the Apostolic Father Papias of Hierapolis, who lived c. 70–163 AD, Mary the wife of Cleophas or Alphaeus would be the mother of Judas the brother of Jesus that Papias identifies with Thaddeus:

Mary the wife of Cleophas or Alphaeus, who was the mother of James the bishop and apostle, and of Simon and Thaddeus, and of one Joseph...(Fragment X)[15]

Possible identity with Thaddeus

St. Thaddeus, St. Sandukht and other Christians in Sanatruk's prison

In the apostolic lists at Matthew 10:3 and Mark 3:18, Jude is omitted, but there is a Thaddeus (or in some manuscripts of Matthew 10:3, "Lebbaeus who was surnamed Thaddaeus", as in the King James Version) listed in his place. This has led many Christians since early times to harmonize the lists by positing a "Jude Thaddeus", known by either name. This is made plausible by the fact that a number of New Testament figures have multiple names (such as Simon Peter and Joseph Barnabas). It has been argued that the name "Judas" was tarnished by Judas Iscariot and for this reason Mark and Matthew referred to him by an alternative name.[16]

Some Biblical scholars reject this theory, however, holding that Jude Iscariot and Jude Thaddeus did not represent the same person.[17] They have proposed alternative theories to explain the discrepancy: an unrecorded replacement of one for the other during the ministry of Jesus because of apostasy or death;[18] the possibility that "twelve" was a symbolic number and an estimation;[19] or simply that the names were not recorded perfectly by the early church.[20]

Thaddeus, one of the twelve apostles, is often indistinguishable from Thaddeus of Edessa, whom Eastern Christian considers as one of the Seventy disciples.[21][22]

In some Latin manuscripts of Matthew 10:3, Thaddeus is called Judas the Zealot.

In other manuscripts


According to the Golden Legend, which is a collection of hagiographies compiled by Jacobus de Voragine in the thirteenth century:

This Judas was called by many names. He was said Judas of James, for he was brother to James the Less, and he was called Thaddeus, which is as much to say as taking a prince; or Thadee is said of Thadea, that is a vesture, and of Deus, that is God, for he was vesture royal of God by ornament of virtues, by which he took Christ the prince. He is said also in the History Ecclesiastic, Lebbæus, which is as much to say as heart, or worshipper of heart. Or he is said Lebbæus of lebes, that is a vessel of heart by great hardiness, or a worshipper of heart by purity, a vessel by plenitude of grace, for he deserved to be a vessel of virtues and a caldron of grace.[23][24]

In the same work, Simon Cananean and Judas Thaddeus are described as siblings of James the Less and sons of Mary of Clopas, who was married to Alpheus.

The Epistle of Saint Jude is usually attributed to the Apostle Jude, and is a short piece. Some statues of Saint Jude include the letter (such as the statue of Saint Jude by Adam Kossowski in Faversham, Kent).[25]

Tradition and legend

Saint Thaddeus Armenian Monastery, Iran

Tradition holds that Jude preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia and Libya.[26] He is also said to have visited Beirut and Edessa, though the emissary of the latter mission is also identified as Thaddeus of Edessa, Addai,[27] one of the Seventy.[28] The 14th-century writer Nicephorus Callistus makes Jude the bridegroom at the wedding at Cana. The legend reports that Jude was born into a Jewish family in Paneas, a town in Galilee later rebuilt during the Roman period and renamed Caesarea Philippi.[29][note 1]

In all probability, he spoke both Greek and Aramaic, like almost all of his contemporaries in that area, and was a farmer by trade.[31] According to the legend, Jude was son of Clopas and Mary of Clopas, sister of the Virgin Mary.[32]

Although Saint Gregory the Illuminator is credited as the "Apostle to the Armenians", when he baptized King Tiridates III of Armenia in 301, converting the Armenians, the Apostles Jude and Bartholomew are traditionally believed to have been the first to bring Christianity to Armenia, and are therefore venerated as the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Linked to this tradition is the Saint Thaddeus Monastery (now in northern Iran) and Saint Bartholomew Monastery (now in southeastern Turkey) which were both constructed in what was then Armenia.

Saint Thaddeus Church, Masis

On October 4, 2015, the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, consecrated the Saint Thaddeus Church in Masis, Armenia. The construction site of the Church was chosen by Vazgen I, the Catholicos of All Armenians, in 1991 and the ground blessing service was conducted in the same year.

Death and remains

Symbol of his martyrdom

According to tradition, Jude suffered martyrdom about 65 AD in Beirut, in the Roman province of Syria during the 1st century in Lebanon together with the apostle Simon the Zealot, with whom he is usually connected. The axe that he is often shown holding in pictures symbolizes the way in which he was killed.[33] Their acts and martyrdom were recorded in an Acts of Simon and Jude that was among the collection of passions and legends traditionally associated with the legendary Abdias, bishop of Babylon, and said to have been translated into Latin by his disciple Tropaeus Africanus, according to the Golden Legend account of the saints.[34]

According to one account, Jude's body was brought from Beirut to Rome and placed in a crypt in St. Peter's Basilica which is visited by many devotees. His bones are in the left transept of St. Peter's Basilica under the main altar of St. Joseph, in one tomb with the remains of the apostle Simon the Zealot. These were moved here on 27 December 1665.[25] An arm was removed from St. Jude's remains centuries ago and placed in a wooden reliquary carved in the shape of an upright arm imparting a blessing. From September 2023 to May 2024, the arm of Saint Jude Thaddeus went on a pilgrimage in the United States, making stops in 100 cities.[35][36]

According to another popular tradition, the remains of Jude were preserved in an Armenian monastery on an island in the northern part of Issyk-Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan at least until the mid-15th century.

A plain ossuary marked with the inscription "Judas Thaddaeus" (Ιουδας Θαδδαιου) was found in Kefar Barukh, Jezreel Valley, alongside fragments of four uninscribed ossuaries. The site was dated by lamps and other pottery to no later than the early second century.[37]


Church of Saints Simon and Jude Thaddeus in Rudno, Poland

Jude is traditionally depicted carrying the image of Jesus in his hand or close to his chest, betokening the legend of the Image of Edessa, recorded in apocryphal correspondence between Jesus and Abgar which is reproduced in Eusebius' History Ecclesiastica, I, xiii. Eusebius relates that King Abgar of Edessa (now Şanlıurfa in southeast Turkey) sent a letter to Jesus seeking a cure for an illness afflicting him. With the letter he sent his envoy Hannan, the keeper of the archives, offering his own home city to Jesus as a safe dwelling place. The envoy painted a likeness of Jesus with choice paints (or alternatively, impressed with Abgar's faith, Jesus pressed his face into a cloth and gave it to Hannan) to take to Abgar with his answer. Upon seeing Jesus' image, the king placed it with great honor in one of his palatial houses. After Christ's execution, Thomas the Apostle sent Addai, one of the 70 or 72 in Luke 10:1–12, to King Abgar[38] and the king was cured. Astonished, he converted to Christianity, along with many of the people under his rule. Additionally, Jude is often depicted with a flame above his head, representing his presence at Pentecost, when he was said to have received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles.


Statue of St. Jude in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran by Lorenzo Ottoni
Procession in Lima, Peru
19th century statue of St. Jude in a Philippine museum

According to tradition, after his martyrdom, pilgrims came to his grave to pray and many of them experienced the powerful intercessions of St. Jude. Thus the title, 'The Saint for the Hopeless and the Despaired'. St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Bernard had visions from God asking each to accept St. Jude as 'The Patron Saint of the Impossible'.[33][39][40] Jude is remembered (with Simon) in the Church of England with a Festival on 28 October.[41]

His feast day is 28 October (in the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, and Lutheran Church).

Apostle Jude son of James (Lebbaeus, Thaddaeus) the Brother of the Lord is commemorated on 19 June and 30 June (Synaxis of the Holy, Glorious and All-Praised Twelve Apostles) in the Eastern Orthodox Church.[42][43][44][45]

The Order of Preachers (better known as the Dominicans) began working in present-day Armenia soon after their founding in 1216. At that time, there was already a substantial devotion to Saint Jude by both Catholic and Orthodox Christians in the area. This lasted until Muslim persecution drove Christians from the area in the 18th century. Devotion to Saint Jude began again in earnest in the 19th century, starting in Italy and Spain, spreading to South America and finally to the United States (starting in the vicinity of Chicago) owing to the influence of the Claretians and the Dominicans in the 1920s.[citation needed]

Thaddeus of Edessa, an Apostle of the Seventy (sometimes identified as Jude Thaddaeus, one of the Twelve Apostles) is commemorated on 21 August and 4 January (Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles) in the Eastern Orthodox Church.[42][43][46][47]



Among some Roman Catholics, Jude is venerated as the "patron saint of hopeless causes". This practice is said to stem from the belief that few Christians invoked him for misplaced fear of praying to Christ's betrayer, Judas Iscariot, because of their similar names. The ignored Jude thus supposedly became quite eager to assist anyone who sought his help, to the point of interceding in the most dire of circumstances.[48]

Jude is the patron saint of the Chicago Police Department, of Customs Officers, of Clube de Regatas do Flamengo (a soccer team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and of two St Jude's GAA teams, the first in Templeogue Dublin 6W and also St Jude's GAA club in Southampton & Bournemouth (UK). His other patronages include desperate situations and hospitals. One of his namesakes is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, which has helped many children with terminal illnesses and their families since its founding in 1962.[49]

Shrines and churches


Many countries venerate the Apostle Jude and have constructed shrines or churches dedicated to his memory. Such sites include those in Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka,[50] Cuba, India, Iran, the Philippines, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Lebanon. The National Shrine of St. Jude in Chicago, Illinois, was founded in 1929 by the Claretian Missionaries. The Nationwide Center of St. Jude Devotions[51] in Baltimore was founded in 1917 by the Pallottines. The National Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus in the Philippines was erected by the Archdiocese of Manila in 1954 as Espíritu Santo Chinese Parish. The Shrine holds the saint's novena liturgy every Thursday and is now under the Society of the Divine Word that also runs the attached Saint Jude Catholic School. The National Shrine of Saint Jude at Faversham in England was founded in 1955.[52] There is also a shrine of St. Jude built by the Dominicans (Order of Preachers) in Lagos, Nigeria.[53]

The cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona is the Cathedral of Saints Simon and Jude .

In Islam


The Quranic account of the disciples of Jesus does not include their names, numbers, or any detailed accounts of their lives. Muslim exegesis, however, more or less agrees with the New Testament list and says that the disciples included Peter, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, Andrew, James, Jude, John and Simon the Zealot.[54]

See also





  1. ^ However, Philostorgius, the 5th-century Arian Christian historian, says in his Historia Ecclesiastica: "The district of Paneas was formerly called Dan. But in the course of time it came to be called Caesarea Philippi, and later still, when the heathen erected in it a statue of the God Pan, its name was changed to Paneas."[30]


  1. ^ Lanzi, Fernando; Lanzi, Gioia (2004). Saints and Their Symbols: Recognizing Saints in Art and in Popular Images. Liturgical Press. p. 70. ISBN 9780814629703.
  2. ^ "St. Jude Shrine, Yoodhapuram". Yoodhapuramchurch.com. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  3. ^ "القديس يهوذا الرسول | لباوس المُلقب تداوس | St-Takla.org". st-takla.org. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Saint Jude". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  5. ^ "The Letter of Saint Jude". Agape Bible Study. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Saint Jude". Catholic Doors. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  7. ^ "St. Jude Thaddaeus – Saints & Angels". Catholic Online. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  8. ^ Fournier, Catherine (2010). "Saint Simon and Saint Jude". Domestic Church Communications Ltd.
  9. ^ Commentary on John 14:22, Expositor's Bible Commentary CDROM, Zondervan, 1978
  10. ^ Brown, Raymond E., The Gospel According to Saint John volume 2, p. 641.
  11. ^ Darrell L. Bock, Luke, volume 1, 1:1–9:50, (Baker Books, 1994), p. 546
  12. ^ "Ποιος ήταν ο Άγιος Ιούδας ο Θαδδαίος". ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑ Online. 18 June 2019.
  13. ^ Neyrey, Jerome H., 2 Peter, Jude, Anchor Bible Reference Library, Doubleday, 1993. p.44-45.
  14. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Brethren of the Lord". www.newadvent.org.
  15. ^ of Hierapolis, Papias. Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord. Fragment X. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  16. ^ For instance Otto Harpan, in "The Apostle" (Sands, 1962), quoted at "St. Jude". 12apostlesofthecatholicchurch.com. Archived from the original on 26 January 2005.
  17. ^ Pesch, Rudolf. "Simon-Petrus. Geschichte und geschichtliche Bedeutung der ersten Juengers Jesu Christ", Paepste und Papsttum 15, Hiersmann, 1980. p.36.
  18. ^ Meier, John P., A Marginal Jew volume 3, pp 130–133, 200 ("Christian imagination was quick to harmonize and produce Jude Thaddeus, a conflation that has no basis in reality.")
  19. ^ [1]Sanders, E.P., Jesus and Judaism, Fortress Press, 1985. ISBN 0-334-02091-3. p.102
  20. ^ Fitzmyer, Joseph, The Gospel according to Luke: Introduction, translation, and notes, Volume 2, The Anchor Bible, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981–1985. ISBN 0-385-00515-6. p.619-620
  21. ^ Kutash, V. Rev. Ihor. "Thaddeus, Apostle of the Seventy". Ukrainian-orthodoxy.org. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  22. ^ Emanuela Marinelli (4–5 September 2014). "Judas, Thaddeus, Addai: possible connections with the vicissitudes of the Edessan and Constantinopolitan Mandylion and any research perspectives | Mimmo Repice and Emanuela Marinelli" (PDF). Workshop on Advances in the Turin Shroud Investigation (ATSI). Academia.edu. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  23. ^ de Voragine, Jacobus (1275). The Golden Legend or Lives Of The Saints. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  24. ^ Stracke, Richard. Golden Legend: Life of SS. Simon and Jude.
  25. ^ a b "Shrine of Saint Jude". 20 October 2016.
  26. ^ "About Saint Jude, Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, San Francisco, Ca". Stjude-shrine.org. Archived from the original on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  27. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Doctrine of Addai". newadvent.org. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  28. ^ "Lk 10:1–12". usccb.org. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  29. ^ Ján Majerník; Joseph Ponessa; Laurie Watson Manhardt (2005). Come and See: The Synoptics: On the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke. Emmaus Road Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-931018-31-9.
  30. ^ John Francis Wilson (23 July 2004). Caesarea Philippi: Banias, the Lost City of Pan. I.B.Tauris. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-85771-115-1.
  31. ^ Richard Bauckham The Relatives of Jesus Themelios Volume 21 (2)pp.18–21 1996
  32. ^ "Who is St. Jude?, International Shrine of St. Jude, New Orleans, La". Judeshrine.com. Archived from the original on 18 November 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  33. ^ a b "St. Jude Shrine Koothattukulam : St.Jude the Apostle". Archived from the original on 1 December 2012.
  34. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Apocrypha". www.newadvent.org.
  35. ^ Jensen, Kurt. "Relic of St. Jude, apostle and patron of desperate causes, begins US tour", OSV News, September 8, 2023
  36. ^ Saint Jude, Tour of the Relics
  37. ^ Prausnitz M. and Rahmani L.Y. (1967). Jewish Burial Caves of the Early Second Century CE at Kfar Baruch. In Me'eretz Kishon: The Book of the 'Emek. Kishon County Council, Tel Adashim. 309–312.
  38. ^ The Doctrine of Addai, see http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/addai_2_text.htm
  39. ^ "Biography of St. Jude Thaddeus, St. Jude's Pilgrim Shrine, Travandrum, India". Stjudetvm.com. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  40. ^ "Biography of St. Jude Thaddeus, St. Jude's Novena". stjudenovena.org. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  41. ^ "The Calendar". The Church of England. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  42. ^ a b "Άγιος Θαδδαίος ο Απόστολος". Ορθόδοξος Συναξαριστής. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  43. ^ a b Saint Jude | History, Facts, & Feast Day. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  44. ^ "ИУДА, БРАТ ГОСПОДЕНЬ - Древо". drevo-info.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  45. ^ "Апостол Иу́да Иаковлев (Левве́й, Фадде́й), брат Господень". Православный Церковный календарь (in Russian). Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  46. ^ "ФАДДЕЙ, АПОСТОЛ - Древо". drevo-info.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  47. ^ "Апостол от 70-ти Фадде́й Едесский, Бейрутский, епископ". Православный Церковный календарь (in Russian). Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  48. ^ Farmer, David (2011). "Jude". Oxford Dictionary of Saints (5th ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 291–292. ISBN 978-0-19-959660-7. Retrieved 26 May 2023. Page reference is to the 2004 printing of the fifth edition.
  49. ^ Orsi, Robert A. (1996). Thank You, St. Jude: Women's Devotion to the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. pp. x. ISBN 9780300162691.
  50. ^ Wickramage, Hemamala. "The Sunday Leader Online – Review". www.thesundayleader.lk. Archived from the original on 5 September 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  51. ^ "Nationwide Center of St. Jude Devotions". St. Jude Shrine. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  52. ^ "Who is Saint Jude?". Carmelite.org. Archived from the original on 6 June 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  53. ^ "Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus". Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  54. ^ Noegel, Scott B.; Wheeler, Brandon M. (2003). Historical Dictionary of Prophets in Islam and Judaism. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press (Rowman & Littlefield). p. 86. ISBN 978-0810843059. Muslim exegesis identifies the disciples of Jesus as Peter, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas, Philip, John, James, Bartholomew, and Simon