Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.
Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and suffering, particularly, (make your request here)
And that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever, I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.
Our Lady of Victories Church was founded in 1882 by French speaking immigrants who came to work in the silk mills of Paterson. From its beginning in the chapel of Saint John's Cathedral to a small wooden church building on Bridge Street, the church survived good times and bad until in July 1933, Rev. Christian A. Pfister was sent to close the financially troubled parish before the coming winter.
Father Pfister was not at the church very long when he recognized that there was still a small "spark of faith" burning at Our Lady of Victories, and he set about to find a way to help that spark grow. In what seemed a hopeless situation, Father Pfister put the fate of the parish into the hands of Saint Jude.
Novena services to Saint Jude were conducted for the first time on October 20, 1933. Although the novenas began with only two services each Thursday, within a month there was a need for six.
As news of the novenas spread, thousands began attending, and within a year, there were fourteen separate novena services, and crowds of people continued to attend.
Devotion to Saint Jude had transformed a parish on the brink of oblivion into a viable, working parish once again. The small church on Bridge Street could no longer accommodate all the faithful, and in 1943, Our Lady of Victory Parish moved to a larger building on Broadway.
Out of the despair of the Depression had come the tradition of the Saint Jude Novena at Our Lady of Victories. One-half century later, devotion to Saint Jude remains strong in this small multi-ethnic parish in Paterson's business district. Through good times and bad, the novena clients maintain their faithfulness as they return weekly to voice thanks for favors received and to pray fervently for solutions to existing difficulties. The Shrine stands as a testimony to the power of faith in the intercession of Saint Jude to triumph over the darkness of troubled times.
Remember the Shrine of Saint Jude in your will, PLEASE!
The twentieth Century has seen a rebirth in the widespread devotion to the apostle Saint Jude Thaddeus. For hundreds of years he was the "forgotten saint," probably because some may have confused his name with that of Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Christ. Jude Thaddeus was a faithful follower of Jesus who spread the word of salvation among the gentiles and worked for the conversion of many people in distant lands. He is known as the patron saint of those in despair, the "help of the hopeless."
What is known about St. Jude is that he was a relative of Jesus Christ; indeed there is evidence that Jesus and Jude may have been childhood friends as well as cousins. We know that Jude knew Jesus before he received the call to follow him as a disciple and that he is also the brother of James of Jerusalem, another apostle. "Thaddeus" means gentle and loving.
The "Epistle of St. Jude" is the shortest writing of the New Testament; still, it presents a strong, clear message. Writing to the early Christians, Jude warns them of the heretics who will try to lead them astray and exhorts them to remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ. "Persevere in God's love, and welcome the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ which leads to eternal life."
The first miracle attributed to Saint Jude is that of the cure of King Abagaro of Edessa in Mesopotamia. The king was suffering from leprosy when he heard of the many miracles that Christ was performing. He sent a messenger to Jesus to ask him to come and cure the affliction.
When the king received word that Jesus was unable to come to Edessa, an artist was sent to find Jesus to make a portrait and bring it back to the king. The artist was unable to copy the Lord's likeness so Jesus promised to send someone to cure Abagaro.
Jesus held a cloth to his face and left his image on it. He sent Jude with the cloth to Edessa where he was welcomed as the messenger of Christ. He placed his hands on the king and cured him of his illness.
This and subsequent miracles led to the conversion of much of the kingdom of Edessa. The king asked Jude to "preach Christ to the Kingdom."
It is because of this first miracle that Jude is usually portrayed with a picture of Christ over his heart.
Saint Jude and Saint Simon together ministered to the people of Persia where magicians promoted the worship of pagan idols. Two of these magicians, Zaroes and Arfaxt, preached that the idols had the power to grant requests. Jude empowered the idols to speak and they proclaimed the One true God. The demons that inhabited the idols were driven away and the statues of these false gods fell to the ground and were destroyed.
The two magicians went to hide in the camp of the Persian army headed by a general named Varardach. The army was preparing for battle with invaders. The pagan idols predicted that the coming battle would be long, and many lives would be lost.
Jude and Simon told Varardach that the idols were lying and that messengers from the enemy would arrive the next day asking for peace on the favorable terms. This prophecy proved to be true, and Simon and Jude remained in Persia and converted thousands to Christianity.
Jude had made enemies of the magicians Zaroes and Arfaxat. They, along with others, continued to stir up sentiment against him. Jude met his death at the hands of an angry mob who clubbed him until he was senseless, and then beheaded him with an ax.
Martyrs are frequently portrayed holding the instrument of their deaths, and that is why statues and pictures of Saint Jude show him holding a club. There is also a flame above his head, symbolic of the gift of the Holy Spirit given to the apostles when he descended to them in tongues of flame.
Saint Jude is buried in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome where the body of Saint Simon is also entombed. Pope Paul III granted a plenary indulgence in 1548 to all who would visit the tomb of Saint Jude on October 28, the anniversary of his death and the day celebrated as his feast.
Saint Jude Thaddeus is known as the patron saint of "despaired cases." Even some of the saints who lived after him asked for his intercession when all else failed them. Many thousands of answered prayers have been attributed to the power of Saint Jude. At times, Saint Jude himself must have faced what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles, but his life was a model of faith in the divine promise: "Ask and you shall receive."
Incurable illnesses, emotional distress, poverty, despair, all have been brought to Saint Jude for answers. We ask for his intercession when all else has failed. And time and time again, the extraordinary power of prayer to Saint Jude has proven itself to thousands who seek his help in time of need.
Four services every Thursday
7:30 a.m. Mass & Novena
9:30 a.m. Mass & Novena
12:00 p.m. Noon Mass & Novena
7:00 p.m. Mass & Novena
Veneration of the Relic of St. Jude after each service.
A Novena is a devotion conducted for nine consecutives days or weeks. During this time you are asked to make your peace with God, by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) and receiving Holy Communion.
A Solemn Novena in honor of St. Jude Thaddeus in preparation for his feast day is conducted each year at the Shrine. This Novena begins nine weeks prior to the Feast of St. Jude, celebrated each year on October 28th. (Dates for this solemn novena are announced each year).
Previous years, the special celebration of this powerful patron took place at 7:00 p.m. in the evening. As of 2008, the celebration will take place at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. Mass is celebrated for the intentions of all the patron and friends of St. Jude. This celebration consist of mass, candlelight procession, anointing with blessed St. Jude oil, veneration of the relic of St. Jude, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. All are welcome to participate in this annual celebration.
St. Jude hears our prayers and intercedes on our behalf before our God.