Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saints Simon and Jude

Today is the feast day of Saints Simon and Jude, both of whom were apostles.

St Simon is called, in the lists of the apostles in the Gospel of St Luke and in Acts, Simon Zelotes. In the Gospels of St Matthew and St Mark, he is called Simon Kananaios, or Kananites. All three designations stem from the same source, the Hebrew word qana, meaning "the Zealous".

His usual attribute is a saw as tradition has it that his body was sawed to pieces. Occasionally he is pictured with a lance.

He is the patron saint of tanners.

St Jude is clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus. Both Jude and Judas are translations of the same Greek variant of Judah, a name which was common among Jews at the time.

In the lists of the apostles (in the Gospel of St Luke and in Acts), St Jude is listed Jude of James. The Gospel of St John also talks of a disciple called Judas not Iscariot and this is usually taken to mean St Jude.

Interestingly, in some Latin manuscripts of Matthew, he is called Judas the Zealot but in other translations the reference is to Thaddeus.

St Jude is well known as is the patron saint of desperate cases.