Here is another icon for my novena book. It somehow did not seem right to have a book on novenas without including the one saint whose novena prayer has probably been prayed by more people over time than any other outside the ones for Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. St. Jude, patron of hopeless cases, is the saint so many Catholics (and even non- Catholics) turn to at least once in their lives when all seems to be lost.
Traditionally, St. Jude is shown in green and white clothing with a golden pendant around his neck. Usually, there is a small flame atop his head signifying the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which all the Apostles received at Pentecost. In his hand there is always a book or a scroll representing the Letter of St. Jude found in the New Testament.
It has also become customary over the past decades to make a vow that if St. Jude's intercession is able to assist you in your hopeless situation, you will publish a notice of thanks in the newspaper so that others may know how helpful St. Jude can be. Thus you will sometimes see something like "Thank you, St. Jude" in the Personals column of religious newspapers or magazines. These used to be much more commonly seen -- perhaps people no longer make such a vow or, more likely, the lack of such promises is due to the cost these days of placing such ads!
The photograph I want to share with you tonight came from a power point presentation about the present situation in Haiti. The photo was taken this past Sunday during Mass which was held in the ruins of the great Cathedral in the capital. You may recall how moved I am by pictures of hands and I do find these especially poignant. The woman behind these hands has been through so much in her life -- more than I can imagine -- and yet she continues to pray the Rosary. Faith is such a precious gift.
Let us all continue to pray for Haiti and its people.
Peace be with you.