St. Simon and St. Jude

Friends in Christ, today is the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, who were of the original 12 apostles. St. Jude, the patron of hopeless causes, was also known as Thaddeus.
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A very old book tells us of a legend connected with St. Jude; according to this legend, in the days that Jesus walked the earth, there was a king who lived in the city of Edessa. This king sent a letter to Jesus, and in it he said:
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‘To Jesus the good Savior, greetings. I have heard about you and the cures you do, that you make people well without medicine or herbs, and that with a word you cause the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the dead to live again. Having heard all this, I have decided that you have come down from heaven; you are the Son of God. For this reason I ask you, to be kind enough to come and cure me. I have also learned that some are plotting to kill you. Then come here with me in this city, it is large enough for both of us. Sincerely, the King of Edessa.’
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Jesus is said to have written to the King saying that he was not able to come, but that after he had Ascended, he would send one of his disciples to cure him.
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Having received this news, the king decided to send a painter to paint a picture of Christ. But when the artist came to Jesus, his face was so bright, that he could not see clearly, to make the portrait. Therefore, Jesus took a cloth, and pressed it to his face to make an image for him.
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Ancient writers also tell us, that the letter written by our Lord to the king had such power, that if at any time a hostile tribe attacked Edessa, a child stood on top of the city gate and read the letter, and the enemy would flee.
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After Christ’ Ascension, St. Jude was that apostle sent to the King as the Lord had promised. The king saw in St. Jude’s face such a marvelous splendor, that he said: truly you are a disciple of the Son of God. St. Jude told him: If you believe in the Son of God, you will obtain all that your heart desires. He touched the king’s face with the letter from Christ, and he was completely cured.
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Now whether this legend is accurate, it IS true, that Simon and Jude did go on to preach the gospel in many lands, including Iran; there they confronted pagans and superstition and sin, and by dramatic miracles converted many to the Faith.
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Out of envy, they were martyred. St. Jude was killed with an axe, and St. Simon was sawed in two.

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