Thaddaeus/Jude/Judas (and even Lebbaeus!) was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.
In the Roman Catholic Church, he is the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes.
Jude is clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, another apostle and the betrayer of Jesus. See Matt. 10:3; Luke 6:16; John 14:22; Acts 1:13.
Also Named Thaddaeus
To avoid any confusion, he is often called Thaddaeus. In the apostle-lists of Matt. 10:3 & Mark 3:18, Jude/Judas is omitted, but a Thaddaeus is mentioned in his place. “Thaddaeus” may have been his nickname; again, to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot.
Imagine being known throughout history, but not really known. In fact, by our time, no one can really be sure what his actual name was! And, there was no problem with the name… until it is associated with someone whose name will go down in history by leaving a bad taste in peoples’ mouths.
What is the importance of a name?
What do people associate YOUR name with?
You may not be famous… either today or sometime in the future. But, God knows who you are!
Tradition & Legend
Tradition says Jude preached the gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, & Libya. He is also said to have visited Beirut & Edessa.
In all probability, he spoke both Greek & Aramaic, like most of his contemporaries. It is thought he was a farmer by trade.
According to legend, Jude was a son of Cleopas & his wife, Mary, a cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Tradition says Jude’s father, Cleopas, was martyred because of his forthright and outspoken devotion to the risen Christ. After all, Cleopas had spent Resurrection afternoon with Jesus!
Death & Remains
According to tradition, Jude suffered martyrdom by beheading about 65AD in Beirut, in the Roman province of Syria, together with the apostle Simon the zealot, with whom he is usually connected. The ax he is often shown holding in symbolic art is believed to have been the tool of his death.
Sometime after his death, Jude’s body was brought from Beirut to Rome and placed in a crypt in St. Peter’s Basilica.
You can read Jude’s few mentions (usually just in the context of the listings of the apostles) in Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:16; John 14:22; & Acts 1:13.