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Catholics have a long tradition of praying to the saints and this tradition has sometimes been misunderstood. With all Christians we keep the First Commandment and adore only the Most Blessed Trinity. Praying to the saints is not a substitute for praying to God, whom we acknowledge to be the source of everything.
We pray to the saints because they are our older sisters and brothers who have gone through what we ourselves are experiencing now. We ask them to remind God that it was by His grace that they triumphed over life’s difficulties and that we today need that same grace.
Even though we have a long tradition of praying to the saints (or more precisely asking the saints to pray to the Lord our God for us!), it is only in our own times that St. Jude has become a popular patron. Why? In the past, people sometimes confused St. Jude with Judas Iscariot, but people now realize they are alike in name only!
And people realized too that the story of St. Jude is very often like their own: people sometimes ignored and misunderstood – people struggling to accept their call to holiness and the offer of forgiveness – people finding it hard to believe that God is always faithful to his promises.
If any of those phrases describe you, welcome!