The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Fortitude so he can always zealously proclaim Jesus Christ to the world and by growing in the Virtue of Piety so he can more frequently rely on the guidance and intercession of the Saints.
Feast of Saints Simon and Jude – October 28 – Lk 6:12-16
After an all-night prayer vigil on a mountain with the Father (Lk 6:12), Jesus comes down from the mountain and hand-selects 12 men to be His Apostles (meaning “to be sent”) who will be leaders of His growing group of disciples. Jesus’ selection and approach of picking 12 Jewish men is purposeful. Focusing 12 Jewish men to go to Israel symbolically represents Jesus’ desire for the 12 tribes of the “lost sheep of Israel” to be the first to be healed and drawn into the Kingdom of God. Jesus exclusively chooses men to establish a new priesthood for His New Covenant and to underscore the essential leadership role that men must play in the Church.
The Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, who were probably cousins of Jesus, is celebrated on the same day; tradition holds they were brothers who, after Christ’s Ascension, evangelized and were eventually martyred together. St. Simon, nicknamed “the Zealot” (or “the Cananean”), had a deep and fiery passion for drawing men to Jesus. St. Jude, also called Thaddeus, authored The Letter of St. Jude in the New Testament, which emphasizes the need to remain steadfast in faith in the face of false shepherds and their heretical teachings, to avoid the judgment of the wicked.
Tradition holds that St. Simon and St. Jude evangelized in many places including Egypt, Persia, Armenia, Africa, Iberia and Britain. While there is some uncertainty about how and when they were martyred, tradition holds that St. Simon was sawn in half and St. Jude was hacked and beaten to death with an axe or a club. The saint’s relics continue to be venerated in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, where the two brothers are buried together under the altar of St. Joseph.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Each man Jesus selected to be Apostles was a supernatural act of His Divine Knowledge and Prudence, for He hand-picked seemingly common men who rose to extraordinary service in the Spirit; even Judas who sinfully betrayed Jesus, set in motion the Crucifixion and Resurrection by which God offers salvation in Christ. Reflect upon Jesus’ excellent decision to call St. Simon and St. Jude.
Grow in fortitude to zealously proclaim Christ
Realize: St. Simon and St. Jude were personally called by Jesus, loved Him and were exceptionally zealous men who had a passion to fulfill their obligation to Christ to evangelize many other men; every Catholic man can be inspired and strengthened in his duty to be an evangelist by imitating St. Simon and St. Jude.
Believe: Reflect upon being a Missionary Witness (CCC 2044-2051) and the need for Zeal (CCC 584, 824, 2004, 2750).
Pray: St. Simon and St. Jude, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Fortitude so I, and every Catholic man, zealously take up the magnificent work of evangelization, I courageously persevere to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, and I patiently endure rejection and persecution as I seek to draw many to Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church.
Seek the intercession of the Saints
Realize: In the Communion of Saints, every Catholic man is blessed to be able to strive to imitate and seek the intercession of the Saints, the greatest human beings who have ever lived.
Believe: Reflect upon the Communion of the Saints (CCC 946-962, 2683) and Patron Saints (CCC 2156, 2165).
Pray: St. Simon and St. Jude, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I honor the Saints and I develop a veneration for those Saints who can help in my own particular struggles in the Spiritual Combat.