It is uncertain how the devotion to St. Jude as the patron of difficult or hopeless cases began. Confusion between St. Jude and the apostle who betrayed Jesus, Judas Iscariot, may have discour-aged devotion to the former for many centuries. Although there seems to have been devotion to him in the Middle Ages, it was not until more recent times that the devotion became widely popular.
The Catholic Church believes that the Church on earth lives in union with the Church in heaven. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. As we pray to God for one another, we often ask the saints to intercede for us. The Church teaches that “true devotion to the saints does not consist so much in the multiplication of exterior acts as in the intensity of an active love, through which, for our greater good and that of the Church, we look to the saints for the example of their lives, a share in their fellowship and the help of their intercession.” (II Vatican Council, Constitution Lumen Gentium, #51)
The Catholic Church also teaches that the Triune God is the source of all life and grace. Catholics pray to St. Jude as a brother, pleading with him to join in our prayer before the Most High. Many people believe, primarily through experience and the testimony of others, that St. Jude is a powerful intercessor with God. It is God, however, who answers our prayers and grants us all good gifts.