Although Saint Gregory the Illuminator is credited as the “Apostle to the Armenians”, when he baptized King Tiridates III of Armenia in 301, converting the Armenians, the Apostles Jude and Bartholomew are traditionally believed to have been the first to bring Christianity to Armenia, and are therefore venerated as the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Linked to this tradition is the Saint Thaddeus Monastery (now in northern Iran) and Saint Bartholomew Monastery (now in southeastern Turkey) which were both constructed in what was then Armenia.
The Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) began working in present day Armenia soon after our founding in 1216. There was a substantial devotion to St. Jude in this area at that time, by both Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians. This lasted until persecution drove Christians from the area in the 18th century. Devotion to Saint Jude began again in earnest in the 19th century, starting in Italy and Spain, spreading to South America, and finally to the United States (starting in the area around Chicago) owing to the influence of the Dominicans and the Claretians in the 1920s.
The Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus remains a vibrant national and international ministry of the Dominican Friars, Province of St. Albert the Great. The Shrine opened on October 20, 1929 when Fr. William Marchant, O.P., a Dominican priest and then pastor of St. Pius V Parish in Chicago’s proud Pilsen neighborhood, acted upon his deep personal devotion to this Apostle, Martyr, and Saint.
The Shrine and its Novena’s began because of one man’s personal devotion decades ago and thrives today because of the same devotedness of thousands at home and around the world who sustain this essential ministry. Each day faithful people visit the Shrine online and in person, asking St. Jude to intercede for them in their need or giving thanks for help they have received. Prayer requests arrive daily in the mail and online, from folks around the world, all seeking the intercession of St. Jude Thaddeus. Many who send their prayer requests later write to express their gratitude for favors and wishes granted.
Five-times a year hundreds pray the nine-day Novena to St. Jude Thaddeus, at the Shrine, in the comfort of their own homes, or in sacred places elsewhere. There they pray for the hope and satisfaction which comes from this marvelous patron of the Shrine. Join these friends of St. Jude as we pray for your intentions and those of peple just like you – here and around the globe.