Fr Francis Kemsley, Prior of Aylesford has written today's reflection. Fr Francis was former Chaplain and Shrine Director in the mid 2000s.
I am always surprised at the number of statues of St. Jude that can be found in Cathedrals and Shrines. I still remember the fine statue of the apostle in the cloister in Barcelona Cathedral. His relics are preserved in St. Peter’s, Rome. They can be seen in one of the side chapels dedicated to St. Joseph. There, in the same chapel, is a confessional used by the Carmelites.
The Carmelites have long had a devotion to St. Jude. There is a famous shrine to the saint in the Carmelite Church, Whitefriars Street, Dublin. When I lived in the city in the 1980’s the church was full on a Tuesday evening for mass and devotion to St. Jude.
The Cloister Chapel at Aylesford is often called St. Jude’s Chapel (statue pictured above). For many it is their favourite place of prayer at Aylesford. The first statue was rather simple; it was made from a mould from the pottery. It is now upstairs in the Community house on a window sill.
The present statue of St. Jude was created in ceramic by Adam Kossowski in the early 1970’s. The artist was commissioned to create a similar one in white for the Shrine of Our Lady and the Forty Martyrs, Hazlewood, the Carmelite retreat and pilgrimage centre in North Yorkshire. When it closed in 1996, the statue found a fitting home in the Shrine of St. Jude, Faversham.
St Jude is known as the patron of difficult cases due to him being the forgotten apostle as he was often confused with the one who betrayed Jesus.
We know very little about St. Jude. He may have been a relative of Jesus. He was one of the twelve. There are many traditions about him after Pentecost, including one that he was clubbed to death.
St. Jude is a reminder that when we feel our situation is hopeless and pointless, God has the last word.
Read more about Saint Jude, here.
SAINT JUDE, PRAY FOR US.