Sts. Simon and Jude

October 28

Saint Simon is surnamed the Cananean or Zelotes in the Holy Scriptures, words which both mean "the Zealous." Some have mistakenly thought that the first of these names was meant to imply that St. Simon was born at Cana in Galilee. The name refers to his zeal for the Jewish law before his call, and does not necessarily mean that he was one of that particular party among the Jews called Zealots. No mention of him appears in the Gospels beyond that he was chosen among the Apostles. With the rest he received the Holy Ghost, but of his life after Pentecost we have no information whatever;  but the Western tradition recognized in the Roman liturgy is that, after preaching in Egypt, he joined St. Jude from Mesopotamia and that they went as missionaries for some years to Persia, suffering Martyrdom there. They are accordingly commemorated together.

The Apostle Jude, also called Thaddeus (or Lebbeus), "the brother of James", is usually regarded as the brother of St. James the Less. It is not known when and by what means he became a disciple of Christ, nothing having been said of him in the Gospels before we find him enumerated among the Apostles. After the Last Supper, when Christ promised to manifest Himself to His hearers, St. Jude asked Him why He did not manifest Himself to the rest of the world; and Christ answered that He and the Father would visit all those who love Him, "we will come to him, and will make our abode with him" [John 14:22-23]. The history of St. Jude after our Lord's Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Ghost is as unknown as that of St. Simon. Jude's name is borne by one of the canonical epistles, which has much in common with the second epistle of St. Peter. It is not addressed to any particular church or person, and in it he urges the faithful to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the Saints. "For certain men are secretly entered in . . . ungodly men, turning the grace of our Lord God into riotousness, and denying the only sovereign ruler and our Lord Jesus Christ."

According to Western tradition St. Jude was Martyred with St. Simon in Persia.

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