Simon & Jude
Both Simon and Jude were ordinary men who were chosen by Jesus himself to teach others about God’s love and to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Their lives help us to understand that even the most average people can become saints when they decide to follow Jesus.
Both of these men were known by other names during their lives. Simon was often called “the Zealot.” A zealot is a person who is strongly committed to something. In Simon’s case, he firmly believed in the importance of people following Jewish law. Once he met Jesus, his life was changed and he became convinced that the most important thing was to follow Jesus and his teachings. We believe that another reason Simon had a nickname was to keep people from confusing him with the other apostle named Simon, the one Jesus called Peter.
Jude was also known as “Jude Thaddeus.” People used this formal title so that he was not confused with Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus and handed him over to be arrested. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless cases and desperate situations. People often pray to Jude when they feel that there is no one else to turn to. They ask Jude to bring their problem to Jesus. Because Jude had such great faith, we know that nothing is impossible for those who believe in the Lord.
Simon and Jude traveled together to teach others about Jesus. Because of their eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ miracles and his death and Resurrection, many people became believers and were baptized. Simon and Jude died for their faith on the same day in Beirut. Jude’s body was later returned to Rome where it was buried in a crypt under St. Peter’s Basilica.