Saint Apostle Jude Thaddaeus
Commemorated on June 19
”The light of thy countenance, O Lord, has been manifested towards us.”Psalm 4, 6
The Apostle Jude was of the choir of the Twelve, and by Luke was called Jude, the brother of James the Brother of God (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13). the Evangelist Matthew terms him “Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus” (Mt. 10:3).
After His glorious Resurrection and Ascension, the Lord sent Thaddaeus to Edessa, according to the promise He gave to Prince Abgar at the time when He sent the towel with His face on it.
At the time when our Lord preached the Good News and healed every illness and infirmity of men, there lived in the city of Edessa on the shore of the Euphrates Prince Abgar who was completely infected with leprosy. He heard of Christ, the Healer of every pain and disease and sent an artist, Ananias, to Palestine with a letter to Christ in which he begged the Lord to come to Edessa and to cure him of leprosy. In the event that the Lord was unable to come, the prince ordered Ananias to portray His likeness and to bring it to him, believing that this likeness would be able to restore his health. The Lord answered that He was unable to come, for the time of His passion was approaching took a towel, wiped His face and, on the towel, His All-pure face was perfectly pictured. The Lord gave this towel to Ananias with the message that the prince will be healed by it, but not entirely, and later on, He would send him a messenger who would erase the remainder of his disease. Receiving the towel, Prince Abgar kissed it and the leprosy completely fell from his body but a little of it remained on his face.
When St. Thaddaeus appeared to Abgar, he received him with great joy. The apostle of Christ instructed him in the true faith and after that baptized him. When the baptized Abgar came out of the water, the remaining leprosy fell from him and he was completely healed. Glorifying God, Prince Abgar also wanted that his people should know the true God and to glorify Him. The prince assembled all the citizens of Edessa before the holy Apostle Thaddaeus to hear teaching about Christ. Hearing the words of the apostle and seeing their prince miraculously healed, the people rejected the idols, unclean living, embraced the Faith of Christ and were baptized. Thus, the city of Edessa was illumined by the Faith of Christ. Prince Abgar brought much gold and offered it to the apostle but Thaddaeus said to him: ” Since we left our own gold, how can we receive the gold of others?”
The prince then destroyed the idols which stood before the gates of the city and above the gates he placed the towel with the likeness of Christ attached to wood, framed in a gold frame and adorned with pearls. Also, the prince wrote beneath the icon on the gates: “O Christ God, no one will be ashamed who hopes in You.”
Jude preached the Gospel throughout Judea, Samaria, Galilee, Idumedia, Syria, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Armenia. When Jude preached throughout the regions around Ararat he was captured by pagans, crucified on a cross and killed by being shot throughout with arrows to eternally reign in the Kingdom of Christ.
The Epistle of Jude
Apolytikion of Apostle Jude
We know thee as a kinsman of Christ and we laud thee with sacred hymns and songs as a most steadfast Martyr who trampled on error and who courageously kept the Faith. As we celebrate today thy holy remembrance, we receive forgiveness of our sins and transgressions, O Jude, through thy holy prayers.
Apolytikion of the Holy Mandylion of Christ. Tone 2.
We venerate your most pure icon, loving Lord, as we ask pardon of our offences, Christ God. For by your own choice you were well-pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh, to deliver from the slavery of the enemy those whom you had fashioned; therefore with thanksgiving we cry to you: You have filled all things with joy, our Saviour, by coming to save the world.