A Friend of Saint Jude
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations,
and in them,
the twelve names of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb.
And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper: the second, sapphire: the third, a chalcedony: the fourth, an emerald: The fifth, sardonyx: the sixth, sardius: the seventh, chrysolite: the eighth, beryl: the ninth, a topaz: the tenth, a chrysoprasus: the eleventh, a jacinth: the twelfth, an amethyst.
Please permit Us to introduce you to a faithful friend of Ours, the Holy Apostle and Martyr, Saint Jude Thaddeus. We consider him to be a friend because ever since We began praying to him in the 1940's, he has proven to Us that he really is a friend-actually, almost like “one of the family”, and certainly a member of Our “spiritual family”! He has proven himself, time and time again, to be a very caring saint, obviously concerned about helping those of us who are still in this world.
Undoubtedly like most of you, We, too, have various things with which We need help from time-to-time, things which people of the world might consider to be “impossible”, but which people who are spiritual know are not impossible because they have experienced, first-hand, the powerful intercession of Saint Jude Thaddeus, the Patron Saint of the Impossible! Saint Jude did not get this title by mere chance-on the contrary, he got his title the old-fashioned way, he earned it! He earned it by proving, over and over again, that he cares about those who pray to him for help, for his powerful intercessory powers before the Throne of the Most Holy Trinity.
But even some of his friends forget that in many respects he is very much like all the rest of us. He once lived in this world and is personally familiar with many of the problems which life brings with it. He had his good days and his bad days, like most of us. So here is a little biographical data about him which We have been able to cull from sundry sources so that you can see him, first, as a person to learn not only who he was, but also some of the things he did and how he did them, and second, how he was helped, by the Most Holy Will and Grace of God, to be not only a Disciples of Jesus Christ, and later one of His Twelve Apostles, but also to become a saint, a saint who has a great deal of empathy for all of us who are in this world today, and who frequently rewards those who pray to him!
At Home in Paneas
You have probably never heard of the little village of Paneas, have you? But about two thousand years ago it would have had a certain claim to fame. Why? For one thing, the village of Paneas was the home of the woman “with an issue of blood twelve years”, as an apocryphal work relates: “And a woman that had a flow of blood for many years, so that, in consequence of the flowing of her blood, all the joinings of her bones appeared, and were transparent like glass; and assuredly all the physicians had left her without hope, and had not cleansed her, for there was not in her a single hope of health: once, then, as Jesus was passing by, she took hold of the fringe of his clothes behind, and that same hour the power of her body was completely restored, and she became whole, as if nothing were the matter with her, and she began to run swiftly to her own city Paneas” (THE REPORT OF PONTIUS PILATE, PROCURATOR OF JUDAEA, SENT TO ROME TO TIBERIUS CAESAR, Second Greek Form; taken from the Internet at Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Wheaton College. URL: http://ccel.wheaton.edu/ ANTE-NICENE FATHERS OF THE CHURCH TO A.D. 325, Volume 8).
Here is how it is described by an Evangelist: “And Jesus rising up followed him [a certain ruler], with His Disciples. And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment. For she said within herself: If I shall touch only His garment, I shall be healed. But Jesus turning and seeing her, said: Be of good heart, daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour” (Matthew 9:19-22).
But more has been written about the woman “with an issue of blood twelve years” by an historian of the Catholic Church. He writes that “since I have mentioned this city (Paneas), I do not think it proper to omit an account which is worthy of record for posterity. For they say that the woman with an issue of blood, who, as we learn from the sacred Gospel, received from our Saviour deliverance from her affliction, came from this place, and that her house is shown in the city, and that remarkable memorials of the kindness of the Saviour to her remain there. For there stands upon an elevated stone, by the gates of her house, a brazen image of a woman kneeling, with her hands stretched out, as if she were praying. Opposite this is another upright image of a man, made of the same material, clothed decently in a double cloak, and extending his hand toward the woman. At his feet, beside the statue itself, is a certain strange plant, which climbs up to the hem of the brazen cloak, and is a remedy for all kinds of diseases.”
“They say that this statue is an image of Jesus. It has remained to our day, so that we ourselves also saw it when we were staying in the city. Nor is it strange that those of the Gentiles who, of old, were benefitted by our Saviour, should have done such things, since we have learned also that the likenesses of his apostles Paul and Peter, and of Christ himself, are preserved in paintings, (4) the ancients being accustomed, as it is likely, according to a habit of the Gentiles, to pay this kind of honor indiscriminately to those regarded by them as deliverers” (Eusebius of Caesarea [born c. 260 A.D. - died c. 340 A.D.], CHURCH HISTORY, Book VII, Chapter XVIII. The Statue which the Woman with an Issue of Blood erected; taken from the Internet at Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Wheaton College. URL: http://ccel.wheaton.edu/ NICENE AND POST NICENE FATHERS, Series II, Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, editors, Volume I).
Perhaps some of you have been attempting to find Paneas on a Biblical map of the Holy Land, but to no avail? We will begin by giving you a few hints where you will find it. There seem to be three sources for the Jordan River. One is known as the Hesbani Springs in the Western foothills of Mount Hermon, a mountain which terminates the anti-Lebanon range in the South. It rises to a height of 9,232 feet and has three peaks. Its summit carries perpetual snow, which explains why it is a source for the Jordan River. Mount Hermon rises well above the other mountains of the anti-Lebanon and is a landmark which can be seen for many miles. It is usually visible even from the Sea of Galilee.
Another source of the Jordan River is considered to be the city of Dan, a.k.a. Tell el Kady, considered to be the Northern limit of Israel. The third sources is found in the Southern foothills of Mount Hermon at a place called Caesarea-Philippi which is a town located in the extreme Northern part of Palestine.
The city of Caesarea-Philippi, which was called Banias, and today is called Baniyas, also used to be called Panion during the Hellenistic period because of the sanctuary of the pagan god Pan located there. But sometimes people get it confused with another ancient city by the name of Caesarea.
The city of Caesarea-Palestinae, usually called simply Caesarea, is an ancient city located in North West Palestine about 20 miles South of Mount Carmel. It was taken by Alexander Jannaeus, the leader of the Maccabees in 104 B.C. In 30 B.C. Herod the Great [ruled from 37 B.C. to 4 B.C.] made it his capital city and built a temple to Augustus in Caesarea. Its Jewish citizens were massacred by the Romans in 66 A.D.
Caesarea-Philippi is named after Philip [born ? B.C. - died in 33 A.D. or 34 A.D. after 27 years of rule], who was the son of Herod the Great and Cleopatra of Jerusalem. Philip was the tetrarch if Ituraea and his wife was the notorious Salome, the daughter of Herodias, who demanded of Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great and Malthace, the head of Saint John the Baptist. Philip rebuilt Panion, which is our mysterious village called “Paneas”! Under Philip, Caesarea-Philippi, as Paneas then came to be called, became a large Hellenistic (Greek) city. Philip named this place after the pagan Roman Emperor, but added his own name to distinguish it from the other city of Caesarea, i.e. Caesarea-Palestinae.
The neighborhood (Matthew 16:13) or the village (Mark 8:27) was the scene of Peter’s confession. But the Scripture passage does not suggest that Christ actually entered this largely Greek Gentile community.
This same ecclesiastical historian also writes: “Among these [signs at Paneas] is also the following wonder. At Caesarea Philippi, which the Phoenicians call Paneas, springs are shown at the foot of the Mountain Panius, out of which the Jordan flows. They say that on a certain feast day, a victim was thrown in, and that through the power of the demon it marvelously disappeared and that which happened was a famous wonder to those who were present. Astyrius was once there when these things were done, and seeing the multitude astonished at the affair, he pitied their delusion; and looking up to heaven he supplicated the God over all through Christ, that he would rebuke the demon who deceived the people, and bring the men's delusion to an end. And they say that when he had prayed thus, immediately the sacrifice floated on the surface of the fountain. And thus the miracle departed; and no wonder was ever afterward performed at the place” (Eusebius of Caesarea [born c. 260 A.D. - died c. 340 A.D.], CHURCH HISTORY, Book VII, Chapter XVII, The Signs at Paneas of the Great Might of our Saviour; taken from the Internet at Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Wheaton College. URL: http://ccel.wheaton.edu/ NICENE AND POST NICENE FATHERS, Series II, Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, editors, Volume I).
But the village of Paneas, which was later called Caesarea Philippi, had an even greater claim to fame. Why? Because it was apparently in this remote village that the future saint, Jude Thaddeus, was born. Most likely Jude’s older brother, who also became a saint, and who was later known as James the Just, a.k.a. James the Less, was also born in Paneas. These brothers probably lived in a house typical of that region at that time. It would most likely have been a sturdy house built of stone which was nestled away in this secluded valley village along with other similar houses.
Around the little valley village of Paneas arose gently inclining hills towards Mount Hermon to the North, with their green roofs of foliage from both olive and fig trees. The herds of sheep had plenty of green grass to eat on these hillsides. Vineyards also dotted the hillsides and, when in season, the juicy clusters of grapes beckoned to be picked. During the Spring, melting snow from the lower elevations of Mount Hermon, combined with rain, would cause rivulets of water to make their way through fields of barley and wheat to the little creek through this village which, farther down the valley, joined with two other creeks where they became the headwaters of the Jordan River. This scene would have made much of the valley look like a patch-work quilt from a distance.
The father of baby Jude and his older brother, James, was Cleophas, a.k.a. Alpheus. He mother’s name was Mary. She was an older sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jude and James were first cousins of Christ and apparently the two closest blood relatives to later become His Apostles.
The future saint, James, after the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, would become the Patriarch of Jerusalem and martyred in 62 A.D. He would spent so much time kneeling in prayer that his knees would develop very thick callouses! In order to distinguish James, the son of Cleophas, a.k.a. Alpheus and Mary, he would later be called “the Less”, or "the Just", in order to distinguish him from the other Saint James, the brother of Saint John, their father being the fisherman, Zebedee, called Saint James “the Greater”.
The term “the Greater”, a.k.a., “the Big”, is obviously a translation from the Greek Scripture and simply means a person whose body is big, having a large frame, or bone structure, and who was rather stout and muscular in comparison with “the Less” which means a person with a smaller bone structure and who was not as burly by comparison, as further proven by the fact that he was also called “the Little” to distinguish him from “the Big”. This was part of the custom of trying to identify people who lived about 2,000 years ago before surnames came into widespread use, especially in the West.
The explanation for the term “the Just” is found in the writings of this Father of the Catholic Church where he writes in part: “He [James] alone was permitted to enter the holy place [i.e. the Temple in Jerusalem] for he did not wear any woollen garment, but fine [white] linen only. He alone, I say, was wont to go into the temple: and he used to be found kneeling on his knees, begging forgiveness for the people--so that the skin of his knees became horny like that of a camel's, by reason of his constantly bending the knee in adoration to God, and begging forgiveness for the people. Therefore, in consequence of his pre-eminent justice, he was called the Just” (Saint Hegesippus [born in Jerusalem ? A.D. - died in Jerusalem 180 A.D.], FIVE BOOKS OF COMMENTARIES ON THE ACTS OF THE CHURCH, Book V, Chapter I, Concerning the Martyrdom of James, the Brother of the Lord; taken from the Internet at Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Wheaton College. URL: http://ccel.wheaton.edu/ ANTE-NICENE FATHERS OF THE CHURCH TO A.D. 325, Volume 8).
Christ Himself gave one of the two Apostles with the name “Simon” the surname “Peter”, who was the brother of another Apostle, Andrew, as an Evangelist recorded: “Simon, whom He surnamed Peter” (Luke 6:14). The other “Simon” is identified as “Simon the Cananean” (Matthew 10:4) and “Simon the Cananean” (Mark 3:18).
Baby Jude was given the name “Jude Thaddeus” The name “Jude” means “giver of joy”. The name “Thaddeus” means “the greathearted one.” After his call by Christ, and along with the other Twelve Apostles, Jude Thaddeus would live in Christ?s presence, share in His work, and carry His Gospel to distant and unknown countries.
Today one comes across many people who have the same Baptized name. But even almost 2,000 years ago, it was not all that uncommon for people to share the same first name. We have already explained that two Apostles had the name “James”, two had the name “Simon” and, thus it is not surprising that two also shared the name “Jude”. The difference is that “Jude Thaddeus” was not the traitor “Jude Iscariot”. Today, it is common to find the older form of the name, “Judas”, applied as “Judas” or “Judas Iscariot”, while leaving “Jude Thaddeus” as is, at least in English. Nevertheless, the first name “Jude” or “Judas” too frequently got the two Apostles mixed up with each other. Even so, St. Luke identifies him as “Jude, the brother of James” (Luke 6:16).
But this does explain why, when the Evangelists, St. Matthew and St. Mark, wrote their Gospels, they tried to prevent this kind of mix-up between these two men by listing them apart from each other. This explains why they identified St. Jude Thaddeus only by the name “Thaddeus”. When they listed the Twelve Apostles, they stuck the traitor last and classified him as “Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him” (Matthew 10:4); and, “Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him” (Mark 3:19). St. Luke calls him “Judas Iscariot, who was the traitor” (Luke 6:16) and also wrote about him: “And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve” (Luke 22:3).
In the Canon of the Mass, in which the biblical list of the Apostles is recited, as well as in the Litany of the Saints, St. Jude Thaddeus is identified only by the name “Thaddeus”. But by not calling him “Jude Thaddeus”, the tendency was to forget his first name, “Jude”, which contributed to making him become the “forgotten” saint. Later, when Saint Luke wrote his Acts of the Apostles, which was long after the suicide of “Judas Iscariot”, the name of that infamous traitor, “Judas Iscariot”, was dropped from the list of the Twelve Apostles and, instead, the name of the Apostle who replaced him, i.e. “Matthias”, was added. “...and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:26). Only then was St. Jude Thaddeus identified by his first name, “Jude”, but, despite this, for a long time he remained the “forgotten Jude.”
Slowly, beginning especially during the last century, the confusion began to get cleared up between to two Apostles, one who remained faithful to Christ, St. Jude Thaddeus, and the other, the traitor, Judas Iscariot. As the people began to pray to St. Jude Thaddeus, they discovered that some of their prayers were being answered and, in some cases, not only was God granting their petitions through the intercession of St. Jude Thaddeus, but, in some cases, there were even some miracles as the direct result of the intercession of St. Jude Thaddeus, even in situations which seemed to be, at least humanly speaking, difficult or even impossible! Thus, St. Jude Thaddeus got the title “Patron Saint of the Impossible” the old-fashioned way, he earned it! We can personally attest to at least two genuine miracles We know of before 1970! Since then, We have read the testimonies of many people, some of which also appear to be miracles!?
Family trees, which is to say ancestral records, play a prominent role in the life of Hebrew families. This has been true for thousands of years. Hebrews keep accurate genealogical records. And so the young Jude Thaddeus would have learned about his ancestors, but also about his contemporaries who were family members. Of course this would include the fact that his own mother, Mary, was the blood sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus. This would mean that he, and his brother James, were both first cousins of Jesus Christ.
Their mother would have told them about how Jesus had been born in Bethlehem and how Mary and Joseph then had to flee with Him into Egypt because King Herod wanted to kill Him. Their mother, Mary, would have told them how, after the death of King Herod, Jesus, Mary and Joseph returned home to Nazareth. She probably told her sons that one day, after they were older, all of them would travel to Nazareth to visit Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The young boys probably imagined what it would be like to travel to see their cousin, Jesus, as well as His Mother, Mary, and His foster-father, Joseph. Since most children have lots of curiosity, they were both probably curious as to what Jesus, Mary and Joseph looked like and wondered whether or not the Holy Family would like them. They might have enough day-dreamed about different childhood games they could play with Jesus. Perhaps they imagined that Joseph, being an excellent carpenter, had made some wooden toys with which Jesus could play. They could have wondered if Jesus would share some of His toys with them with which to play as their parents visited with Mary and Joseph.
Most likely Jude and James and their parents visited the Holy Family at least once, possibly several times, over the years. The first visit would likely have been after Jesus, Mary and Joseph had returned from the Temple in Jerusalem when Jesus when twelve years old. No doubt Jude and James were quite excited when the time came to go for their visit. It would certainly have been a joyful occasion, especially for the two sisters, Mary, the Mother of James and Jude and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who had not seen each other for many years.
Young Jude Thaddeus might have been around eight to ten years old at this time, and no doubt was filled with awe when he saw his cousin, Jesus, for the first time! Like most children of that era, Jude had been taught to respect his parents and his elders. He would most likely have been reserved in the presence of his aunt, Mary, and his uncle, Joseph. But Our Blessed Mother, Mary, no doubt made him and his brother, James, feel right at home. Both brothers probably went outdoors to play with Jesus so that the adults could have their quiet conversations without childish interruptions or noise.
We can recall that when We were a child, We sometimes used to speak to other children around Our own age about Heaven, the Angels and Saints, Our Blessed Mother, Jesus, etc. Our young audiences always listened attentively and would ask Us questions which We tried to answer as best We could at that age. Therefore, it seems to Us to be even more likely that Jude and James probably hung on every world that Jesus, Who is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) spoke to them, teaching His cousins, even at that early age, about God, the Angels, etc.
Children, especially young children, are very impressionable. So, it would only be logical to conclude that after Jude and James and their parents returned home again, Jude and James would long remember the beautiful truths which the Child Jesus taught them. Jesus would now be their role model par excellence, just as today young boys try to emulate certain sports heroes by wearing their clothing with their logos or shoes with their names. Inspired by Jesus, the parents of Jude and James most probably noticed an increased fervor for spiritual things, such as prayers and the recital of Scripture passages. Jesus had planted the seeds of Apostleship in the souls of His young students, Jude and James, which would later blossom into reality not that many years hence during His public ministry when He called them first to be His Disciples, and then elevated them to be His Apostles!!
Growth and Education
For most of the history of mankind, with some exceptions, schools per se did not exist. This is why home-schooling is not a late 20th Century phenomena. It has been around since Adam and Eve had children. Therefore, it should not come as any surprise that Jude and James had also been taught at home by their parents, especially their mother. They apparently were taught how to read and to write. Of course 2,000 years ago, there were no such things as bound books as we know them today. Rather, everything was hand-written on animal skins or some kind of papyrus or what went for paper in those days which was then rolled up into scrolls.
Knowledge was passed down verbally from generation to generation because of the scarcity and the expense of hand-printed book-scrolls. Children, for example, memorized their family genealogical trees as well as important pieces of their family histories. Hebrew children would have memorized various passages of various books of the Old Testament because the written book-scrolls of the Old Testament would likewise have been scarce and expensive, although most likely not as much as other book-scrolls on secular subjects because more people would have copied some of them to pass down to succeeding generations of their own families. Knowledge about every-day life, economics, work, business, etc. could be garnered by children from listening to the conversations of their parents and elders and the few travelers who may have stopped by from time to time.
Jude and James would have faithfully attended the synagogue with their parents, where they would have been listened to various passages of the Old Testament being read and where they would have been taught the required formal religious observances. As a result, Jude and James would have become somewhat familiar with the Old Testament, and, because of the scarcity of the Old Testament book-scrolls and their expense, these brothers would have had to commit to memory what they considered to be the more important parts of it. Thus, Jude and James, and their parents, would have been aware of the promised Savior, as the Prophet Isaias prophesied. They might have even memorized this chapter, verse by verse.
11:1. And there shall come forth a rod out of the root
of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root.
11:2. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness.
11:3. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord, He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears.
11:4. But he shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity the meek of the earth: and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
11:5. And justice shall be the girdle of his loins: and faith the girdle of his reins.
11:6. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf and the lion, and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them.
11:7. The calf and the bear shall feed: their young ones shall rest together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
11:8. And the sucking child shall play on other hole of the asp: and the weaned child shall thrust his hand into the den of the basilisk.
11:9. They shall not hurt, nor shall they kill in all my holy mountain, for the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the covering waters of the sea.
11:10. In that day the root of Jesse, who standeth for an ensign of the people, him the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulchre shall be glorious.
11:11. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand the second time to possess the remnant of his people, which shall be left from the Assyrians, and from Egypt, and from Phetros, and from Ethiopia, and from Elam, and from Sennaar, and from Emath, and from the islands of the sea.
11:12. And he shall set up a standard unto the nations, and shall assemble the fugitives of Israel, and shall gather together the dispersed of Juda from the four quarters of the earth.
11:13. And the envy of Ephraim shall be taken away, and the enemies of Juda shall perish: Ephraim shall not envy Juda, and Juda shall not fight against Ephraim.
11:14. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines by the sea, they together shall spoil the children of the east: Edom, till Moab shall be under the rule of their hand, and the children of Ammon shall be obedient.
11:15. And the Lord shall lay waste the tongue of the sea of Egypt, and shall lift up his hand over the river in the strength of his spirit: and he shall strike it in the seven streams, so that men may pass through it in their shoes.
11:16. And there shall be a highway for the remnant of my people, which shall be left from the Assyrians: as there was for Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
In this way, Jude and James would have been preparing themselves to received the promised Messias of all of the Old Testament prophecies. God the Holy Ghost would have guided these two future Apostles by His inspirations, without them even being consciously aware of this, in preparation for their future ministry, covered at this time by the cloak of their growing years which would have passed quickly, as is the case for most people in their late teen-age and early twenty years. Undoubtedly, Jude and James would still keep fresh in their minds what the Child Jesus had taught them years earlier which seeds had taken root and were growing in preparation for their future vocation as Apostles of Jesus Christ.
Jude and James lived within the closely knit tribal community which had a limited social life and but a few active outside interests. 2,000 years ago, marriages were usually contracted between the families of the same village, and at an early age, at least in the late teens or early twenties because in those days life expectancy was relatively short because the peoples of those days did not have the luxury of today with hospitals, doctors, nurses, health food stores, myriad books on nutrition, diet, supplements, not to mention a purified and germ and disease free water supply as well as indoor plumbing.
Marriage to Mary
So it came about that at around this time of his late teens or early twenties, Jude became engaged, apparently to a girl of his village girl, whose name was Mary. The courtship would probably have been short, especially if she was someone he had known for many years while they were growing up. After their marriage, they probably made their home in this small village and began their married life close to their own families. Their home was a rented two-story stone building which they shared with another young married couple.
Jude and his wife had at least one child, possibly more, because Jude had at least two living grandchildren in about 95 A.D., during the reign of the pagan Roman Emperor, Domitian [81 A.D. - 96 A.D.], as this Father of the Catholic Church testifies:
“But when this same Domitian had commanded that the descendants of David should be slain, an ancient tradition says that some of the heretics brought accusation against the descendants of Jude (said to have been a brother [first cousin] of the Saviour according to the flesh), on the ground that they were of the lineage of David and were related to Christ himself. Hegesippus relates these facts in the following words:”
“‘Of the family of the Lord there were still living the grandchildren of Jude, who is said to have been the Lord's brother [i.e. first cousin] according to the flesh. Information was given that they belonged to the family of David, and they were brought to the Emperor Domitian by the Evocatus. For Domitian feared the coming of Christ as Herod also had feared it. And he asked them if they were descendants of David, and they confessed that they were. Then he asked them how much property they had, or how much money they owned. And both of them answered that they had only nine thousand denarii, half of which belonged to each of them; and this property did not consist of silver, but of a piece of land which contained only thirty-nine acres, and from which they raised their taxes and supported themselves by their own labor.’”
“‘Then they showed their hands, exhibiting the hardness of their bodies and the callousness produced upon their hands by continuous toil as evidence of their own labor. And when they were asked concerning Christ and his kingdom, of what sort it was and where and when it was to appear, they, answered that it was not a temporal nor an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly and angelic one, which would appear at the end of the world, when he should come in glory to judge the quick and the dead, and to give unto every one according to his works. Upon hearing this, Domitian did not pass judgment against them, but, despising them as of no account, he let them go, and by a decree put a stop to the persecution of the Church. But when they were released they ruled the churches because they were witnesses and were also relatives of the Lord. And peace being established, they lived until the time of Trajan [98 A.D. - 117 A.D. ].’ These things are related by Hegesippus” (Eusebius of Caesarea [born c. 260 A.D. - died c. 340 A.D.], CHURCH HISTORY, Book III, Chapters XIX and XX; taken from the Internet at Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Wheaton College. URL: http://ccel.wheaton.edu/ NICENE AND POST NICENE FATHERS, Series II, Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, editors, Volume I). The quotation is from: Saint Hegesippus [born in Jerusalem ? A.D. - died in Jerusalem 180 A.D.], FIVE BOOKS OF COMMENTARIES ON THE ACTS OF THE CHURCH, Book V, Chapter I, Concerning the Martyrdom of James, the Brother of the Lord).
The above is the only discovered data thus far about the married life of the couple Jude and Mary. Early historians make no further mention of his wife, Mary, which We have been able to discover. Neither they nor tradition give us the slightest trace as to her career, although, if she was physically strong, she might have helped her husband, Jude, in the fields, especially at harvest time. Otherwise, besides the domestic chores of running their home, she might have tried to earn some extra money by baking or sewing.
Jude now worked for himself and for his wife as a tenant farmer. The manual work was hard and the hours of a farmer were long because of the primitive farming implements available and the lack of manpower due to the lack of finances. The crops were not always abundant. The young couple would have had a number of lean years because of undependable weather, insect plagues, etc. But there were also other problems. Consider how the Hebrews, just like the rest of the then known world, had fallen as a casualty to the Roman Empire under the dominion of the Imperial Caesars. There was agitation and resentment because of the Roman soldiers who policed the land of Israel and imposed their taxes and their will everywhere in this small country. This was also the time when the Hebrews were looking for a political and military leader who would remove all of the burdens of the Roman occupation and restore Israel to its former military and political glory.
Just as his poor farmer-neighbors, Jude was encumbered with an impossible burden of expenses, the growth of which was much more vigorous than his crops. Nearly half of his income went for taxes. 25% or 1/4 of his earnings was exacted by the heavy Roman assessment on his total earnings as taxes. Another 25% or 1/4 of his total earnings was imposed on him by the Jewish tithes. Of the 50% or ½ which remained, he had to pay the rent for the land he farmed and the apartment he and his wife rented. Plus, there were other fixed expenses. The small amount which was left after all of these deductions certainly classified him and his wife as the working poor. Jude and his young wife had a hard life, with very little chance of improving themselves.
First Public Miracle
The Wedding at Cana
“And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage” (John 2:1-2).
At this time, the “disciples” of Christ apparently numbered only five. In their chronological order, as given in chapter one by Saint John, they were Andrew, John, Simon whom Christ surnamed “Cephas”, which is interpreted “Peter”, Philip and Nathanael.
“If, as is likely, Mary was present as a relative [of the newly married couple, whether of the husband or the wife, or both of them], the invitation to Jesus and his disciples would have been on her account” (A CATHOLIC COMMENTARY ON HOLY SCRIPTURE, St. John II, 1-11 The Marriage Feast at Cana 1; p. 983d).
The small town called “Cana” in Galilee is probably present-day Kefr Kenna, estimated population of about 1,000 people today, which is 4 miles North East of Nazareth. Because it is “likely” that Our Blessed Mother, Mary, had been invited to this wedding celebration because she was a relative of the newly married couple, it is possible that Mary, the older sister of Our Blessed Mother, the wife of Cleophas, a.k.a. Alpheus, and the mother of James and Jude, might have also been invited for the same reason.
But, just as Christ had also been invited, because He is the Son of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, and hence also a relative of the new husband or wife or both, so also, James and Jude might have been invited because they, too, were relatives on their own mother’s side.
Therefore, this family wedding feast in Cana was most likely attended by many members of this family which would have included James and Jude. If this was what happened, then, in addition to Our Blessed Mother, Mary, and her older sister Mary, not only would the then five disciples of Christ have been in attendance, as the Scripture states, but so also, most probably, two soon-to-be Disciples of Christ, James and Jude. This is not simple speculation nor wishful thinking. Although James and Jude are not mentioned explicitly by name, Saint John, who was physically present and hence an eye-witness, mentions “His [Christ’s] brethren” (John 2:12), which is to say some of Christ’s relatives. This very probably would have included James and Jude who were His first cousins.
In those days, it was a custom of the Hebrews for their maidens to be married on a Wednesday. The wedding celebrations customarily lasted a full week, and was called a “drink-festival”. A rabbinical saying: “Where there is no wine, there is no joy” placed great emphasis upon the quantity of wine, with the best being served first.
Apparently, the newly-married couple could not afford to purchase enough wine to last for the full customary week-long celebration, or, many more family members and other uninvited guests showed up than were expected? Either way, Our Blessed Mother noticed that the jars of wine had been emptied by the great thirst of the large number of wedding guests.
The First Public Miracle
“And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to Me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His Mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye. Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, And saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested His glory, and His Disciples believed in Him. After this He went down to Capharnaum, He and His Mother, and His brethren, and His disciples: and they remained there not many days” (John 2:3-12).
If the term “His brethren” includes His first cousins, James and Jude, then this means that they, too, witnessed the first public miracle which Christ performed so that, just as the five Disciples at that time “believed in Him”, so also two more men, who were soon to become His Disciples as well, namely James and Jude, likewise believed in Him.
The large number of wedding guests suggests the importance of this wedding celebration. Therefore, it would be very unlikely that James and Jude were not present along with their own wives. This being almost a certainty, it can be seen how Jude's future path was clearly marked by God. Both James and Jude, and most probably their wives as well, would follow Christ in His travels through Palestine. They would, for example, hang on every word which fell from the lips of the Perfect Teacher. Jude and his wife as well as his brother, James and his wife, would have needed to return to their own village in order to set their worldly affairs in order so as to be ready for the public call of Christ when the time came.
Jude and James probably realized that it would take only a short time before the news of this wonderful miracle to spread all over Galilee. In the meantime, they were most probably guided by God the Holy Ghost to pray as part of their preparation for their call, their vocation.
“After this He went down to Capharnaum, He and His Mother, and His brethren, and His Disciples: and they remained there not many days” (John 2:12).
Who were “His brethren” who went with Him and His Mother to Capharnaum, along with His Disciples? These “brethren” were family members and most likely would have included Mary, the Sister of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, and her two sons, Jude and James.
Capharnaum is a town in Galilee on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, West of the Jordan river. It is 23 miles from Nazareth. Today it is called “Tell Hum”. This is where Christ and His entourage journeyed after the first public miracle of Christ at the wedding feast in Cana. Capharnaum was to become Christ’s headquarters during His public life. It was called “His own city”: “And entering into a boat, he passed over the water and came into His own city” (Matthew 9:1).
Yet on this trip, Christ remained there for only a few days after which He went to Jerusalem for the great Jewish feast of Passover with His Disciples who had gone with Him to the wedding feast in Cana. Christ would officially call Jude and his brother, James, at a later time to be His Disciples and Apostles. Nevertheless, it is still possible that at least some of “His brethren” who went with Him and His Mother to Capharnaum, along with His Disciples, also went with them to Jerusalem for the great Jewish feast of Passover. Of course, some of “His brethren” could have easily included the blood brothers, Jude and James, and possibly their Mother, Mary, the Sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Beginning of Christ’s Public Ministry
It is recorded how, while at the Temple, Christ drove out the Roman bankers and the Greek merchants. They had turned the sacred precincts into a market place in which they sold doves and other animals to be sacrificed at the Temple. These bankers and merchants were also in the money exchange business. They would change the Roman and Greek coins into the sacred money, called the Tyrian, which was required for the payment of the annual Temple tax by the Jews.
All of this is briefly recorded by the Beloved Apostle who writes in part: “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested His glory, and his Disciples believed in Him. After this He went down to Capharnaum, He and His Mother, and His brethren, and His Disciples. And they remained there not many days. And the Pasch of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the Temple them that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. And when He had made, as it were, a scourge of little cords, He drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen, and the money of the changers he poured out, and the tables He overthrew. And to them that sold doves He said: Take these things hence, and make not the house of My Father a house of traffic [business]. And His Disciples remembered, that it was written: ‘The zeal of Thy house hath eaten Me up’ [Psalm 68:10] (John 2:11-17).
Such an incident would have stirred up the populace of Jerusalem and the pilgrims going to the Temple. Was this the “hour” to which Christ had alluded earlier when He told His holy Mother, Mary: “Woman, what is that to Me and to thee? My hour is not yet come” (John 2:4). There are those who think that Christ declared His “official” hour and publicly announced His active ministry at this time with His prophecy about His own death and resurrection as the Scripture says: “The Jews, therefore, answered, and said to Him: What sign dost Thou shew unto us, seeing Thou dost these things? Jesus answered, and said to them: Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:18-19). But since the Jews perceived His announcement and prophecy only in a materialistic sense: “The Jews then said: Six and forty years was this temple in building; and wilt Thou raise it up in three days? But He spoke of the Temple of His Body” (John 2:20-21).
If the brothers Jude and James were actually part of “His brethren” who went with Christ to Jerusalem for the great Jewish feast of Passover, they would have been eye-witnesses to the above events. But even if neither one of them had gone with Christ to Jerusalem for the Passover, the news of what Christ had done and said on the precincts of the Temple would have spread around the city of Jerusalem and much of Israel rather quickly so that Jude and James would, at the very least, have heard about it. But because both Jude and James would be later called by Christ to be His Disciples, and later His Apostles, it seems both logical and quite likely that both of these future Apostles would have been physically present for what some think was Christ’s declaration of His “official” hour and for Christ’s public announcement of His active ministry as well as His prophecy concerning the climax of His ministry, namely, His Redemption of mankind by His death on the Cross, and His Resurrection?
If Jude and James had been eyewitnesses to these events, or even if they had not been, certainly they would have become part of the various spontaneous discussion groups in their small village which talked about what had happened. Thereafter, Jude and James most probably listened for any additional news reaching their hamlet about where Christ was and what He had done and was doing. It seems reasonable to take the position that God the Holy Ghost would have been preparing these two future Apostles in such a way that when the time came, they would eagerly and courageously accept the call of Christ.
But some take the position that Christ actually officially began His public ministry, not in Jerusalem, but in Capharnaum on the Sabbath as recorded by the Evangelists Mark and Luke, as you read:
“And they entered into Capharnaum, and forthwith upon the Sabbath days going into the synagogue, He taught them. And they were astonished at His doctrine. For He was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:21-22).
“And He went down into Capharnaum, a city of Galilee, and there He taught them on the Sabbath days. And they were astonished at His doctrine: for His speech was with power” (Luke 4:31-32).
As you can see from the above, what happened was that it was in Jerusalem that Christ had prophetically announced His redemption of mankind by His death, to be followed in three days by His resurrection from the dead, while in Capharnaum, a short time later, Christ actually began to teach. Which act is one of public ministry, prophecy or teaching? While both are important, and neither can be ignored, it can be said that Christ’s public ministry as a Prophet began in Jerusalem, on the grounds of the Temple, thus associating Himself with the Old Testament prophecies about the Messias. But in the Old Testament, the prophets were frequently perceived primarily as teachers and only secondarily as someone who foretold the future. So within this highly specialized context, one can say that Christ alluded to Himself as a Teacher.
But in an exclusive sense, it seems more prudent to take the position that Christ’s public ministry as a Teacher began in Capharnaum inside of the synagogue. Prophecies are completed in their fulfillment, as are those which are very-time sensitive, as in this case. Teachings, on the other hand, are eternal because they are the expressions of truth, in this case Divine Revelation. In other words, the prophecy Christ made: “Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19) was completed only three few years later, whereas the Teachings of Christ are still as fresh and as applicable today as they were the first time Christ taught them and will remain so until the end of the world and are verified in eternity!
It is certainly possible that Jude and James made one or several trips to the synagogue in Capharnaum to hear Christ’s teachings. If nothing else, at least some of what Christ taught in the synagogue in Capharnaum would most likely have passed by word of mouth to their small village, about thirty miles away, where it seems that Jude and James lived with their wives.
Vocation - The Call
“And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and He passed the whole night in the prayer of God. And when day was come, He called unto Him His Disciples; and He chose twelve of them (whom also He named Apostles): Simon, whom he surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon who is called Zelotes, And Jude, the brother of James...” ( Luke 6:12-16).
This Scripture informs us that at first Jude was a Disciple of Christ. The exact details of his call by Christ are not recorded in the Scriptures, but it is recorded how Jude was chosen, along with eleven others, from among this group of male Disciples. Why did Christ choose twelve men to be His Apostles? Why not ten or twenty? Why twelve? The number twelve corresponds to the twelve tribes of Israel. The number twelve is also God's number of perfection and is obtained by the number of the Blessed Trinity (3) multiplied by that of Catholicity [universality] which number is 4. Twelve also alludes to the Apostles as the twelve foundation stones which the Scripture sets forth: “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them, the twelve names of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb” (Apocalypse 21:14).
“The names of the Apostles on these stones verify the truth of Divine Revelation which they believed, taught and preached. Their teaching authority, assisted by God the Holy Ghost, makes the wall firm and rock solid. The usage of their names indicates that under Divine inspiration they correctly interpreted the revelations of the Old and the New Testaments and that all worldly knowledge must conform itself to, and harmonize with, their Creed, the details of which is called the Genuine Apostolic Tradition” (Patriarch Jacobus Maria DeJesus, C.M.F., D.D., THE SECRET DISCLOSURE, Supplement 4, Words and Phrases of the Apocalypse with Their Meaning(s) in Chapter/Verse Order, Chapter 21, 21:14, Twelve Foundation Stones).
Part of the training which Christ gave to His Apostles and Disciples was by example. One thing which Christ taught (and through the Apostles and Disciples, all future students for the Holy Priesthood), at least in part by example, was the importance of a solid spiritual life, including the life of prayer. For example, just before He selected His Apostles from among His Disciples, He spent the entire night in prayer, as the Scripture testifies: ““And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and He passed the whole night in the prayer of God. And when day was come, He called unto Him His Disciples; and He chose twelve of them (whom also He named Apostles).” ( Luke 6:12-13).
Jude, his brother James, and the rest of the Apostles began their training as Apostles of Jesus Christ, being taught by Christ Himself. This school run by Christ, for the training of future Priests and Bishops, was continued down through the centuries in various ways. Originally, some, or perhaps all, of the Apostles had students of their own. Consider how the Apostle (although not one of the original Twelve Apostles) Saint Paul, consecrated his students Titus and Timothy as Bishops for Crete and Ephesus, respectively. The Epistles of Saint Paul to these two Bishops bear testimony of what is required of those who hold the Office of Bishop and how they must discharge their Episcopal Office with the strictness of discipline, but seasoned with mercy and leniency.
Since the Roman Catholic Council of Trent, Westerners began to have seminaries which were used for the formal training of secular Priests, Religious Priests having historically been taught either in their monasteries or in the universities. Originally, universities were established only for the training of students for the Priesthood.
The purpose of the Roman Catholic Council of Trent in this regard was to not only abolish abuses which had crept into the church over the centuries, but also, in a general way, to return to the same spirit Christ used in training His Apostles in particular and His Disciples in general. In order to better understand this, We quote from the first part of the chapter regarding diocesan seminaries for secular Priests.
“Method of establishing Seminaries for Clerics, and of educating the same therein. Whereas the age of youth, unless it be rightly trained, is prone to follow after the pleasures of the world; and unless it be formed, from its tender years, unto piety and religion, before habits of vice have taken possession of the whole man, it never will perfectly, and without the greatest, and well-nigh special, help of Almighty God, persevere in ecclesiastical discipline; the holy Synod ordains, that all cathedral, metropolitan, and other churches greater than these, shall be bound, each according to its means and the extent of the diocese, to maintain, to educate religiously, and to train in ecclesiastical discipline, a certain number of youths of their city and diocese, or, if that number cannot be met with there, of that province, in a college [university] to be chosen by the Bishop for this purpose near the said churches, or in some other suitable place.”
“Into this college [university] shall be received such as are at least twelve years old, born in lawful wedlock, and who know how to read and write competently, and whose character and inclination afford a hope that they will always serve in the ecclesiastical ministry. And it wishes that the children of the poor be principally selected; though It does not however exclude those of the more wealthy, provided they be maintained at their own expense, and manifest a desire of serving God and the Church.”
“The Bishop, having divided these youths into as many classes as he shall think fit, according to their number, age, and progress in ecclesiastical discipline, shall, when it seems to him expedient, assign some of them to the ministry of the churches, the others he shall keep in the college [university] to be instructed; and shall supply the place of those who have been withdrawn, by others; so that this college [university] may be a perpetual seminary of ministers of God.”
“And that the youths may be the more advantageously trained in the aforesaid ecclesiastical discipline, they shall always at once wear the tonsure and the clerical dress; they shall learn grammar, singing, ecclesiastical computation, and the other liberal arts; they shall be instructed in Sacred Scripture; ecclesiastical works; the homilies of the saints; the manner of administering the Sacraments, especially those things which shall seem adapted to enable them to hear Confessions; and the Forms of the Rites and Ceremonies.”
“The Bishop shall take care that they be present every day at the Sacrifice of the Mass, and that they Confess their sins at least once a month; and receive the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ as the judgment of their Confessor shall direct; and on festivals serve in the cathedral and other churches of the place” (The Council of Trent, Canons and Decrees, Session 23, Being the Seventh under the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IV, celebrated on the Fifteenth day of July, MDLXIII, CHAPTER XVIII, Method of establishing Seminaries for Clerics, and of educating the same therein, # 1).It is quite probable that for the new Apostle, Jude, the farmer, and his brother, the new Apostle, James, perhaps also a farmer, not to mention the fishermen among the Apostles and the tax collector, and most probably all the rest of them, irregardless their occupations, this new way of life was not all that easy for any of them. Why? Because it meant a strong self-discipline of the soul, or more precisely the powers of the soul, namely the intellect and the will, plus the body, weakened by Original Sin.
Those of you who are members of the Clergy and/or Religious Orders or Religious Congregations know whereof We speak. Those of you who are secular Priests or numbered among the Laity who have read a number of books on the Spiritual Life should also have some idea as well. For those of you who have not had an opportunity to learn about the living of the true Spiritual Life, We have always recommended THE THREE AGES OF THE INTERIOR LIFE, Prelude of Eternal Life, in 2 volumes, by Rev. R. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., translated by Sister M. Timothea Doyle, O.P. in the 1940's. This work is really a synthesis of the great classical authors of the Spiritual Life, e.g. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Ignatius DeLoyola, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, etc.
The newly chosen Twelve Apostles, including Jude, learned the principles of the Spiritual Life directly from Christ. But this also meant that they had to unlearn certain things which they had been taught by their religion, e.g. replacing such things as bitter zeal and rigid justice with the virtue of charity, which is the love of God. Christ first taught His Apostles, including Jude, and through them, all of us, that “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord of the sabbath also” (Mark 2:27-28). And God the Holy Ghost, through the pen of Saint Paul, teaches that “our sufficiency is from God. Who also hath made us fit ministers of the New Testament, not in the letter, but in the spirit. For the letter [of the law] killeth, but the spirit quickeneth” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6).
On the contrary, Christ condemned those who observe the letter of the law but who ignore the spirit which gives life. Consider this example of how the Apostles, the Disciples, the Holy Women and the crowd, all heard Christ castigate the leaders of the Jews, namely, the Scribes and the Pharisees:
“Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His Disciples, Saying: The Scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on men's shoulders; but with a finger of their own they will not move them. And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad, and enlarge their fringes. And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues, And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi. But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master; and all you are brethren. And call none your father upon earth; for one is your Father, Who is in Heaven. Neither be ye called masters; for one is you master, Christ. He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”
“But woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.”
“Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you devour the houses of widows, praying long prayers. For this you shall receive the greater judgment.”
“Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves.”
“Woe to you blind guides, that say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but he that shall swear by the gold of the temple, is a debtor. Ye foolish and blind; for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, is a debtor. Ye blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? He therefore that sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things that are upon it: And whosoever shall swear by temple, sweareth by it, and by Him that dwelleth in it: And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by Him that sitteth thereon.”
“Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you tithe mint, and anise, and cummin, and have left the weightier things of the law; judgment, and mercy, and faith. These things you ought to have done, and not to leave those undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.”
“Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and uncleanness.”
“Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside may become clean.”
“Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men's bones, and of all filthiness. So you also outwardly indeed appear to men just; but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”
“Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; that build the sepulchres of the prophets, and adorn the monuments of the just, And say: If we had been in the days of our Fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them that killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.”
“You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of Hell? Therefore behold I send to you prophets, and wise men, and Scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: That upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. Amen I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation.”
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not? Behold, you house shall be left to you, desolate. For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:1-39).But notice also how the Apostles and the Disciples were made aware of the coming persecutions against them, both indirectly and directly? One example of the indirect is found in the above passage Christ prophecized saying to the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees: “Behold I send to you prophets, and wise men, and Scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: That upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. Amen I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation” (Matthew 23:34-36).
One example of the direct is found in these words of Christ which He spoke directly to His Apostles, saying to them: “I will not now call you servants: for the servant knoweth not what his lord doth. But I have called you friends: because all things whatsoever I have heard of My Father, I have made known to you. You have not chosen Me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you. These things I command you, that you love one another.”
“If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember My word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My Name's sake: because they know not Him Who sent Me.”
“If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth Me, hateth My Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But that the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law: They hated Me without cause. But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me. And you shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning” (John 15:15-27).
Of course, Christ told them this near the end of His 3-year public ministry, not at the beginning of it. By this time, the Grace of God had been at work in them for that time period and also they had received many private instructions from Christ before this time which also helped to properly prepare them.
Christ then continued instructing His Apostles, becoming even more direct, just in case anyone had any doubts, by prophecizing their future martyrdoms: “These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father, nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. But I told you not [directly] these things from the beginning, because I was with you” (John 16:1-5).
Jude's First Assignment
After instructing His Apostles, Christ sent them forth, but only to the Jews at this time. The Gospel gives this account: “And having called his twelve disciples together, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities. And the names of the Twelve Apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent: commanding them, saying: Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles, and into the city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils” (Matthew 10:1-8).
If they met with rebuff in any town or village they were to move on to the next one. They were to fear nothing, trusting totally in Christ! So, going forth, Jude would have done as Christ had instructed him and the rest of the Apostles. Jude would have gone “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Jude would have preached that “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jude would have healed the sick, raised the dead back to life, cleansed the lepers, and even cast out devils, all in the name of Christ.
This is how Jude got some experience at learning how to do his future missionary work among both the Jews and the Gentiles. This was certainly a lot different than the farming to which Jude had been accustomed! Over time, Jude had gained the necessary experience of knowing which crops to plant, when to plant them and when to harvest them, among other things. Jude probably also had some animals which one usually finds on a farm. Hence, it is probable that Jude would have learned lots of things relating to the raising and caring for such animals. But now, Jude was beginning to learn how to care for souls and how to heal bodies.
One can only imagine what a thrill it was for Jude to help people. Imagine the great joy and happiness Jude must have had the very first time he cured a sick person by the power of God! And those of us who are devoted to Saint Jude today know how Saint Jude is still curing people of their physical diseases, not to mention emotional, psychological and financial problems as well!
Imagine seeing Saint Jude, by the power of God, curing blind people so that they could see; curing cripples so that they could walk, the deaf so that they could hear, the dumb so that they could talk, and driving devils of out those who were possessed!
Class Back in Session
Flushed with the success of their first mission, Jude and the other Apostles returned to Christ aglow with the success of their first missionary assignment. But most probably most of them also realized that they needed more training and more instruction from Christ before they would be ready to go out into the entire world. This training would continue throughout the public life of Christ during which Jude, and the other Apostles, would be witnesses to many of the teachings and miracles of Christ.
So the training that Christ gave them was sufficient for them at that time. But Christ promised His Apostles that, after His Ascension into Heaven, He would send God the Holy Ghost to further instruct them, telling them: “But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go [to Heaven]: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you...I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will teach you all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak; and the things that are to come, He shall shew you” (John 16:7; 16:12-13).
The point here is that Christ had to prepare His Apostles not only mentally, by instructing them regarding Divine Revelation which truths He disclosed to them, but also spiritually, so that they would become role models for their successors, the Bishops they would consecrate, not to mention the Priests and Deacons they would ordain, and that they, too, would be able to accept death which would put the seal of authenticity upon their preaching and teaching. Christ also instructed His Apostles in how to correctly offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, administer the Sacraments, bless various objects, etc.
Such a school did not just last for a week or two, but throughout most, if not all, of the three years of the public ministry of Christ, and even some of the 40 days between His Resurrection from the dead and His Ascension into Heaven.
And so it was then that, at the beginning, Jude and all of the other Apostles, would have had to change their daily routine. The hard manual work of quiet country life was transformed into the more stressful twenty-four-hour days of Apostolic activity which demanded the physical strength to climb mountains, to plod along rugged roads which were muddy during the times it rained and, even perhaps a few times when it snowed, to sleep without shelter under the canopy of a starry night, or a cloudy night or a rainy and windy and cold night, and to endure hunger and thirst. This was the physical conditioning which was concomitant with their spiritual and intellectual training.
At times this would mean field work for the Apostle Jude during the planting and harvest seasons during the daylight hours, followed by study and contemplation at night, all under Christ’s supervision. All of this was in preparation for their own reception of the Sacraments, especially Holy Orders, and to receive their commission from Christ: “And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” (Matthew 28:18-20).
During this time of learning, the Apostle Jude also became a witness to the things which Christ said and did throughout his travels with Christ and the rest of the Apostles which took them through Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. This would have included not only the formal teachings of Christ, but also the many miracles He performed as recorded by the Evangelists. Christ even sent them out in pairs to get the experience they would need for their future missionary journeys and made them Exorcists and also gave them the power to preach and to work miracles: “And he made that Twelve should be with Him, and that He might send them to preach. And He gave them power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils” (Mark 3:14-15).
Thus did the School of Christ properly prepare the Apostle Jude, and all the rest of His Apostles, for their later missionary work. Basic principles of the School of Christ would later be implemented in what came to be called “seminaries” which students for the secular Priesthood, and even Religious who were students for the Religious Priesthood, who were members of the emerging Religious Congregations, would study.
Christ Ordained the Apostle Jude a Priest
and Consecrated Him a Bishop
The synoptic Gospels record how Christ celebrated His final Jewish Passover. He began His public ministry just a little over three years before that. Now, this time it was celebrated with His Apostles in the Cenacle. Using a variety of sources, including some of the Fathers of the Church, Father James L. Meagher, D.D., informs all of us what happened after that Jewish Passover had been completed in his scholarly book entitled: “HOW CHRIST SAID THE FIRST MASS”. This book includes, to some extent, the active role of the Apostles during the First Mass which was offered AFTER the completion of the Jewish Passover meal or seder supper. It was during this First Mass that Christ administered the Sacrament of Holy Orders to the Apostles, especially the Sacraments of the Priesthood and the Episcopacy.
In this way, Jude, and the other Apostles, learned how to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and how to administer the Sacrament of Holy Orders, as well as the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharistic. The book by Father Joseph Husslein, S.J., Ph.D., THE MASS OF THE APOSTLES, gives one some historical perspectives about how the Apostles offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the rest of their lives.
Over the years, many people have wondered why it is so hard to get any detailed information about the first two hundred years of the history of the Catholic Church, especially regarding the liturgical rites for the Mass and the Seven Sacraments. Concerning the liturgy, when the Catholic Church was suffering the onslaughts of the bloody Roman persecutions against her, as a defensive measure, the Catholic Church, in order to protect the liturgical Rites from destruction, as well as many other things, by the pagan persecutors, used what some historians have called “The Law of Secrecy”.
This was a very wise and prudent course of action by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church at that time. Why? Because it was over two centuries later when, according to Petilianus, Pope Marcellinus [296 A.D. - 304 A.D.] not only offered incense to the pagan idols, but also surrendered the sacred books at Rome to the pagan Roman Emperor Diocletian [born 245 A.D. - died 313 A.D.; Roman Emperor from 284 A.D. to 305 A.D.] who then burned them. We know that the entire contents of the church archives in Rome were totally destroyed and thus not only were the liturgical books temporarily not available at Rome, so also the various historical records and other data which was in that library were destroyed. This book burning by the pagans also might have included various books about the lives of the Apostles as well as about their wives and children.
Mary’s Travels with Her Husband, Jude
Certain Women of the Company
“But Peter rising up, ran to the sepulchre, and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths laid by themselves; and went away wondering in himself at that which was come to pass. And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them. But their eyes were held, that they should not know Him. And He said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to Him: Art thou only a stranger to Jerusalem, and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days? To whom He said: What things? And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people; And how our chief priests and princes delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we hoped, that it was He that should have redeemed Israel: and now besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done. Yea and certain women also of our company affrighted us, who before it was light, were at the sepulchre, And not finding His body, came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who say that He is alive. And some of our people went to the sepulchre, and found it so as the women had said, but Him they found not” (Luke 24:12-24).
The question arises, was Mary, the wife of Jude, one of the “certain women” “of our company”? Since all of the Apostles were married, except for Saint John, it seems likely that at least some of the wives of the Apostles traveled sometimes with their husbands when they traveled with Christ, because in those days a small band of men, traveling by themselves, without women in their company, would have been looked upon with great suspicion by their contemporaries in Israel. Here is the Scripture to ponder on this issue:
“The beauty of a woman cheereth the countenance of her husband, and a man desireth nothing more. If she have a tongue that can cure, and likewise mitigate and shew mercy: her husband is not like other men. He that possesseth a good wife, beginneth a possession: she is a help like to himself, and a pillar of rest. Where there is no hedge, the possession shall be spoiled: and where there is no wife, he mourneth that is in want. Who will trust him that hath no rest, and that lodgeth wheresoever the night taketh him, as a robber well appointed, that skippeth from city to city” (Ecclesiasticus 36:24-28; emphasis added).On that first Easter Sunday “certain women” who were of their “company” had gone to the sepulchre to anoint the Body of Christ and found the tomb to be empty, except for the angels. These women returned to the Cenacle where everyone of their “company” had all gathered after the death of Christ on the Cross. The Cenacle became the temporary home for the Apostles, Disciples and the holy women until that first Pentecost Sunday. Thus you read that even after the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, they returned to the Cenacle, as the Scripture testifies:
“And when He [Christ] had said these things, while they looked on, He was raised up: and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they were beholding Him going up to Heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments. Who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to Heaven? This Jesus Who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come, as you have seen Him going into Heaven. Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount that is called Olivet, which is nigh Jerusalem, within a sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Jude the brother of James. All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren. In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said: (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty:)...” (Acts of the Apostles 1:9-15).You will note that all eleven of the Apostles (Judas had already committed suicide) were present, including “Jude the brother of James”. But the Apostles were not alone. Also present were “the women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus” as well as “His brethren”, which means His relatives.
Thus the total number of the Apostles at this time was eleven, due to the suicide of Judas after his traitorous betrayal of Christ. Adding the Blessed Virgin Mary now brings the number to 12. It is known that there were either 70 or 72 Disciples - certain researchers claim that some of these Disciples might have been women - (although it is possible that not all of these 70 or 72 were present at this time), which now brings the total to 84, or even less if not all of the 72 Disciples were present. This leaves a remaining number of at least 36 at a minimum-possibly higher than that. This number of 36 plus would consist of the holy women. If we subtract Mary Magdalen, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, the mother of the sons of Zebedee (her name is probably Salome-based upon the parallel set forth in Mark 15:40), Joanna, Mary of James, and Susanna, for a total of 6, we are still left with at least 30 other women.
The Mystery Women
But exactly WHO WERE these women with whom all of the Apostles were persevering with one mind in prayer, besides Our Blessed Mother and His brethren? Based on other passages of the Scriptures, they most probably included the “women looking on afar off among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the Mother of James the Less [and of Jude Thaddeus] and of Joseph, and Salome: Who also when He was in Galilee followed Him, and ministered to Him, and many other women that came up with Him to Jerusalem” (Mark 15:40-41). “And it was Mary Magdalen, and Joanna, and Mary of James [and Jude], and the other women that were with them, who told these things to the Apostles” (Luke 24:10).
The Wives of the Apostles
Also “the other women” could possibly have included the wives of the Apostles and possibly the wives of some of the male Disciples? Since Christ elevated marriage to the level of a holy Sacrament, Christ would certainly not have wanted His male Apostles and male Disciples exposed to temptation, namely traveling around without their wives. Also, remember that there were apparently a number of women who followed Christ “when He was in Galilee” and who “ministered to Him”. Hence, it would seem that Christ would have considered it to be prudent that the wives of the Apostles, including Mary, the wife of Jude, would have been included in this group of women. Just because no specific mention is made of her does not, by itself, constitute a basis upon which to claim that Mary, the wife of Jude, was not one of these “certain women” of the “company”.
The temptation to cast Mary, the wife of Jude, into the oblivion of having no role in the service of Christ and of the male Apostles and the male Disciples, most especially of her husband, Jude, should be avoided. There is even the possibility that Mary, the wife of Jude, was related to the wife of his brother, James, the Apostle called “the Less” and "the Just", since, just as Jude most probably married a local girl of his small village, it is also possible that his brother, James, likewise might have also married a local girl of the same small village of Paneas.
This is not as far-fetched as it may seem because the Apostles, Peter and Andrew, who were blood brothers, actually married blood sisters! This is according to no less a source than the Patriarch of Milan, Saint Ambrose [340 A.D. - 397 A.D.], a Father of the Catholic Church, as you read: “...it may be that under the symbolic figure of that woman, mother-in-law of Simon [Peter] and Andrew, it was our flesh that was ill, suffering from the fever of various crimes” (St. Ambrose + 397, ESPOSITIO EVANGELII SECUNDUM LUCAM, 4. Corpus Christianorum 14, 128). The one same mother-in-law of Peter and Andrew denotes that both of their wives had the one same mother!
But the role of the wives of the Apostles and Disciples, while hidden in Scriptural obscurity, can nevertheless be adduced in part from the fact that it would seem logical that if any women at all were to travel with Christ and His male Apostles and male Disciples, that this group of women would most probably include at least some of their wives. Otherwise, critics could claim that these women constituted a traveling whorehouse, which is totally out of character for Christ and His male Apostles and male Disciples.
Thus, Christ, Who is both wise and prudent, most probably invited some, or maybe all, of the wives of the male Apostles to travel with their husbands so that each wife could minister to her own husband, thereby avoiding even the shadow of any kind of scandalous impropriety. After all, who did the cooking for the male Apostles and the male Disciples? Would not “the other women”, or at least some of them, have done some of this cooking? Also, in traveling by foot around the countryside, their clothes would have become very dusty in the summer and dirty and wet when it rained. Again, the women would probably have been in charge of these and other matters.
Christ Taught Women
However, no one should get the idea that these women were somehow “slaves”. On the contrary, in the evenings, after the crowds had left, and after Christ and His male Apostles and male Disciples and the holy women (some of whom may have been part of this group of 70 or 72 Disciples) had eaten, Christ most probably would have considered this to be the perfect opportunity to teach all of them. It is clear from the Scriptures that Christ taught His male Apostles and male Disciples and, if there were any female Disciples number among the 70 or 72 Disciples, these women would have also been included. This is why this point is easy to understand, namely, because Christ, Who re-established the rights of women, would have also taught the holy women as well, at least some of whom would most probably have been the wives of the Apostles and some of the male Disciples.
That Christ actually considered it to be very important for the holy women, as well as the men, to be physically present, and taking an active role, during His teaching sessions, is proven by Christ scolding Martha would was too busy with her housework to sit and to listen to His teachings, as the Scripture proves:
“Now it came to pass as they went, that he entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha, received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sitting also at the Lord's feet, heard His word. But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? speak to her therefore, that she help me. And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).With this word-picture in your mind, you can easily imagine the holy women, including the wives of the Apostles and the male Disciples, as well as any possible female Disciples from among the 70 or 72 Disciples, likewise “sitting also at the Lord's feet”, next to their husbands, also hearing “His word”, which is to say, His teachings. You can also easily imagine that if any of the men present even thought about objecting to the presence of their wives or other women “sitting also at the Lord's feet”, that Christ would have immediately corrected them by telling them in no uncertain terms how their wives or the other women had “ chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from” them.
It is important to realize that, contrary to the too frequent sub-standard status of women at that time, especially in the Middle-East, Christ elevated the status of women back to their rightful place, lost for them by their Mother, Eve, by tempting Adam, after which women, gradually and more and more frequently in some cultures, became considered as mere chattel or property, instead of as human beings worthy of respect. Christ restored dignity to women. At least part of the proof for this is that women did in fact travel with Christ and His male Apostles and male Disciples and some of them may have even been female Disciples!
Therefore, for these reasons it seems most probable that many, or all, of the wives of the Apostles, including Mary, the wife of Jude, would have traveled together with their husbands and formed “the company” which traveled with Christ. And if some consider “the other women” to be too vague a term, please consider also that “His brethren”, i.e. relatives, likewise traveled with Christ and how Mary, the wife of Jude, would be a relative of Christ by marriage. The many women of the “company” who also traveled with Christ, of whom it seems logical to include some or all of the wives of the Apostles and at least some of the wives of the male Disciples, is attested to by the Scriptures.
The Many Women of "The Company"
MANY women followed Christ and were part of “the company”. “And there were there many women...who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto Him. Among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee” (Matthew 27:55-56).
“And there were also women...among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joseph, and Salome: Who also when he was in Galilee followed Him, and ministered to Him, and many other women that came up with Him to Jerusalem” (Mark 15:40-41).
“And it came to pass afterwards, that he traveled through the cities and towns, preaching and evangelizing the kingdom of God; and the twelve with Him: And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities; Mary who is called Magdalen, out of whom seven devils were gone forth, And Joanna the wife of Chusa, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who ministered unto Him of their substance” (Luke 8:1-3).
“And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit. And saying this, He gave up the ghost. Now the Centurion, seeing what was done, glorified God, saying: Indeed this was a just man. And all the multitude of them that were come together to that sight, and saw the things that were done, returned striking their breasts. And all His acquaintance, and the women that had followed Him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things” (Luke 23:46-49).
“And the women that were come with Him from Galilee, following after, saw the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. And returning, they prepared spices and ointments; and on the Sabbath day they rested, according to the commandment” (Luke 23:55-56).
“And on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they [the women] came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled back from the sepulchre. And going in, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were astonished in their mind at this, behold, two men stood by them, in shining apparel. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their countenance towards the ground, they said unto them: Why seek you the living with the dead? He is not here, but is risen. Remember how He spoke unto you, when He was in Galilee, Saying: The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered His words. And going back from the sepulchre, they told all these things to the Eleven [Apostles], and to all the rest. And it was Mary Magdalen, and Joanna, and Mary of James, and the other women that were with them, who told these things to the Apostles” (Luke 24:1-10).
The Holy Women Were Also Taught
by Our Blessed Mother
“And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. His Mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye” (John 2:1-5).
Here is one example of how solicitous Our Blessed Mother is towards the welfare of others. It proves that the Blessed Virgin Mary was very observant and that, in her great charity, prudence and wisdom, she could certainly speak. Some people have a mental image of her as a shy, backward, insecure, almost fearful person. On the contrary, one can cull from this passage a person who is very intelligent, very well organized, and someone who can be assertive as the situation requires. If Our Blessed Mother was living on the earth today, some people might equate her with a CEO of a large corporation who gets things done, not in an aggressive way, but rather in a very charitable, polite, kind, but very firm way who has exceptional organizational, communication and people skills.
We do not say that Our Blessed accompanied her Divine Son on every missionary trip. But the Scripture is clear that the women of "the company” seem to have gathered around Mary in the Cenacle, as did the Eleven Apostles and “His brethren”. “And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Jude the brother of James. All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with His brethren. In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said: (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty:)...” (Acts 1:13-15).
Within this context, it becomes fairly easy to understand how the women were included as part of "the company” of the 120 people. Just as Our Blessed Mother had given instructions to the waiters at the wedding at Cana to do whatever Christ told them to do, so also, Our Blessed Mother, being a very kind, virtuous, person who would have been concerned about the emotional, psychological, physical and, most especially, the spiritual state of each one of these other 120 people gathered together under the one roof of the Cenacle, after the dead body of Her Divine Son was placed in the sepulchre, would most surely have given moral support and spiritual encouragement to all of the people present. This could have been done simply by her example. But can’t you see, in the eye of your mind, some of the men and women asking Our Blessed Mother questions and she, in turn, answering them in a sympathetic, but authoritative, manner?
It seems that by nature women tend to be more verbal than men. Understanding this, it is not all that difficult to get a picture of “the women” clustering themselves around Our Blessed Mother, first to give comfort and solace to Our Lady of Sorrows, but secondly, to receive comfort and solace in return.
During the time Christ spent in the tomb, most of the 120 were in the Cenacle. Among the Apostles, except for Saint John, there would have been a feeling of fear and despair. As a matter of fact, the strong male Apostles “were mourning and weeping” as the Scripture testifies: “She [Mary Magdalen] went and told them that had been with Him, who were mourning and weeping” (Mark 16:10). In addition to them being in a state of sorrow, they were also in a state of disbelief that Christ had risen from the dead: “And they hearing that He was alive, and had been seen by her [Mary Magdalen], did not believe” (Mark 16:11). Even after Christ had appeared to two of the 120 they did not believe: “And after that He appeared in another shape to two of them walking, as they were going into the country. And they going told it to the rest: neither did they believe them” (Mark 16:12-13). It was at this time that Our Blessed Mother would have been the rock upon which all of them, including Peter, could lean for spiritual and emotional support, not to mention an unwavering faith-despite the vastness of her own personal grief and sorrow.
The Holy Women Received the Holy Ghost
To Fulfill Their Vocation and Public Ministry
(Please note: Most of the data for this chapter comes from two of Our copyrighted books: 1) SECRET 3, THE MARRIED POPES, copyright (c) 1989 by Jacobus Maria DeJesus, C.M.F., D.D.; and 2) SECRET 8, WOMEN DEACONS, PRIESTS AND BISHOPS, copyright (c) 1991 by Jacobus Maria DeJesus, C.M.F., D.D. In order to avoid confusion, We have not put all of the many direct quotations taken from these two books in quotation marks because, even without doing this, there is a proliferation of quotation marks in what follows. Our concern is that another layer of quotation marks would make most of this chapter confusing and, perhaps to some extent, more difficult to read. As a practical matter, We suggest that you consider everything in this chapter as being a direct quotation taken from either of these two books which We have written, both of which are under copyright protection as already indicated. Thank You for your kind understanding!)The holy women were not the kind of women one finds today who are “groupies” who travel around with rock bands, etc., but rather women who had their own special vocation in the Catholic Church. The point is that they were not mere bystanders who were left out of the “action”, so to speak. They were very much involved!
When God the Holy Ghost descended upon the 120 or more people in the Cenacle in the form of fiery tongues, He did not just descend upon Our Blessed Mother and the male Apostles. Rather, He descended upon EVERYONE in the Cenacle, including ALL of the women, at least some of whom were most probably the wives of the male Apostles and the male Disciples, as the Scripture reports: “And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and IT SAT UPON EVERY ONE OF THEM: And they were ALL filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak” (Acts 2:1-4; emphasis added). It is quite possible that Mary, the wife of the Apostle Jude Thaddeus, was alos one of these women.
In other words, the parted tongues of fire sat upon every one of the 120 or more people in the Cenacle, and this included ALL of the holy women as well, at least some of whom were most probably the wives of at least some of the male Apostles and the male Disciples, because it was also necessary for them to “speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak”!
WHY was this necessary for the women? Some of the wives of the Apostles, and this might have included Mary, the wife of Jude Thaddeus, traveled with their husbands on their missionary trips. Although one does not read about this specifically in the Scriptures, there is a reference to it by the Apostle Saint Paul who writes: “And I entreat thee also, my sincere companion, help those women who have laboured with me in the Gospel, with Clement and the rest of my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life” (Philippians 4:3).
Who is this “my sincere companion” to whom Saint Paul refers? One Father of the Catholic Church tells us: “Even Paul did not hesitate in one letter to address his wife” (Clement of Alexandria [Titus Flavius Clemens born c. 153 A.D. - died c. 215 A.D.], STROMATA III, 52, 53, quoted in ALEXANDRIAN CHRISTIANITY, The Library of Christian Classics, Volume II, pp. 64-65).
Clement of Alexandria is not only one of the very early Fathers of the Catholic Church, but also someone who was well respected as well. Here are a few examples of respectful recognition given to him by other Fathers of the Catholic Church.
Alexander [born ? A.D. - died March 8, 251 A.D.], the Patriarch of Jerusalem, speaks of Clement of Alexandria as his master, writing in part: "...for We acknowledge as Fathers [of the Catholic Church] those Blessed Saints who are gone before Us, and to whom We shall go after a little time; the truly blest Pantaenus, I mean, and the holy Clemens [Clement], my teacher, who was to me so greatly useful and helpful."
St. Cyril of Alexandria [born 376 A.D. - died June, 444 A.D.], Patriarch of Alexandria, calls Clement of Alexandria "a man admirably learned and skillful, and one that searched to the depths all the learning of the Greeks, with an exactness rarely attained before."
Saint Jerome [c. 340 A.D. - died 420 A.D.], referring to Clement of Alexandria wrote: “Clement, a presbyter of Alexandria, in my judgment the most learned of men, wrote eight books of Miscellanies and as many of Outline Sketches, a treatise against the Gentiles, and three volumes called the Pedagogue. Is there any want of learning in these...” (Saint Jerome [c. 340 A.D. - died 420 A.D.], LETTER LXX, To Magnus an Orator of Rome, # 4).
Eusebius of Caesarea [born c. 260 A.D. - died c. 340 A.D.] testifies to his theological attainments, and applauds him as an "incomparable master of Christian philosophy." He also quotes from him in his own Ecclesiastical History, thus using Clement of Alexandria as a reference source.
With such laudatory references given to Clement of Alexandria by other Fathers of the Catholic Church, who are themselves very highly esteemed and considered to rank very high on the scale of integrity, one must conclude that what Clement of Alexandria has written must be taken quite seriously, including his assertion that in Philippians 4:3, the term “my sincere companion” means that Saint Paul was writing about his own wife.
Synzygus = Wife
But is this plausible? In examining the internal evidence afforded by Philippians 4:3, you need to remember that the original Greek word for companion is synzygus. The Greek word synzygus means a "yoke-mate" or "companion" or "wife". The Greek language does in fact use this term to mean "wife". And it is as “wife” that Clement of Alexandria interpreted the original Greek word synzygus.
Also, the very fact that Clement of Alexandria was born in about the year 153 A.D. gives greater certainty to his interpretation of the original Greek word synzygus as “wife” because he was much closer to the time of the original oral tradition about the lives of the Apostles, including Saint Paul. Obviously, it should be self-evident that many of those early Catholics who lived in the Apostolic Age, i.e. during the days of the Apostles (Saint John was the last of the Apostles to die peacefully at Ephesus in about the year 101 A.D.) knew exactly who the wives of the Apostles were, not to mention the fact that they probably had heard about their children as well. Because Clement of Alexandria was born in about 153 A.D., it is quite possible that as a child he may have heard various older people talk about such things. They would have been from the second, or at the latest, third generation from the days the Apostles and their wives walked the paths that led to the foreign missionary lands.
But We now name names, so to speak, in this wise. We must first recall how the “Catholic Church” was the term which became popular after it was used by St. Ignatius of Antioch in his famous expression: "Wherever the Bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church" (St. Ignatius of Antioch, EPISTLE TO THE SMYRAEANS, Chapter VIII, Let Nothing Be Done Without the Bishop; emphasis added.)
Thus the “Catholic Church”, because of the missionary work of the Apostles and their disciples, began to spread around the then known world. For example, Alexandria, Egypt, because of the Evangelist Saint Mark, became the earliest seat of learning for the Catholic Church. It was at Alexandria that one finds an active Scriptorium, a place where what is called today “the Bible” was so painstakingly copied by hand by the monks of the local monasteries.
At Alexandria you find the famous School of Alexandria which was founded by Saint Pantaenus [born ? A.D. - died July 7, ? A.D.], during the reign of Antoninus Caracalla, a.k.a. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Bassianus, Roman Emperor from 211A.D. to 217 A.D., which was later made famous by Clement of Alexandria and Origen. The School of Alexandria was a free establishment of higher education. Because of its library, it is sometimes considered to be a quasi Catholic university. This came about when Saint Pantaenus, a.k.a. "the Sicilian bee", came to Alexandria from the flowery fields of Enna. He put it together by his hard work and fortitude.
Clement, later to be known as Clement of Alexandria, had followed Tatian [2nd Century A.D.] to somewhere in the East, possibly Assyria. While there, he discovered that Pantaenus was in Egypt. So, Clement went to Alexandria with his Attic scholarship and became a pupil of Pantaenus in the latter’s School of Alexandria. Only surpassed by Saint Justin Martyr [born c. 100 - died c. 165] and Saint Irenaeus [born 130 A.D. - died 202 A.D.], does Saint Pantaenus become part of the exclusive triumverate of the foundation for Catholic literature, most especially Catholic libraries. By the way, it is interesting to note how he set the precedent for treating Paganism as a creed which is outworn, as something to be thrown out with contempt, rather than to be seriously combated any longer.
Therefore, Clement of Alexandria is recognized as a most reliable and credible source; a person of proven integrity. Hence, it seems to Us that when Clement of Alexandria interprets the term, “my sincere companion”, of Philippians 4:3, in which the original Greek word for “companion” is synzygus, or “wife”, that this cannot be ignored by anyone who is a true lover of the truth.
Consider that in his Epistle to the Romans, Saint Paul devotes chapter 16 to a favorable treatment of women. Was this because he himself was married? Saint Paul certainly makes an even more direct reference to his wife where he writes: “Have We not power to carry about a woman, a sister, as well as the rest of the Apostles, and the Brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to do this?” (1 Corinthians 9:5-6).
But there is something more definite here. During the dispute between Rome and Constantinople in the middle of the 11th Century, Rome had no scruples in admitting that the celebrated text of St. Paul [1 Corinthians 9:5-6] meant that the Apostles were married. (Gratian, DECRETUM P.I. Distinction xxxi, c. xi.).
One commentary tells us: “‘To carry about’: to bring with him, and expect the same hospitality for her. ‘A woman a sister’: the first word can mean either WOMAN or WIFE, the second [word] is taken by nearly everybody to mean CHRISTIAN here. Two interpretations therefore are possible: 1. A Christian woman. 2. A Christian wife...” (A CATHOLIC COMMENTARY ON HOLY SCRIPTURE, Thomas Nelson & Sons, Imprimatur E. Morrogh Bernard, Vic. Gen., Westmonasterii, die 9 Aprilis 1951, 1 Corinthians IX, p. 1091, # 875h, i; emphasis added).
But at this point it is necessary to take a closer look at this passage of Scripture according to the above interpretation: Have We not power to carry about a Christian wife, as well as the rest of the Apostles, and the Brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to do this? (1 Corinthians 9:5-6). We ask if the term “Christian wife” is the most accurate translation?
Adelphen Gunaika and Gune
There are cogent reasons for translating the Greek term adelphen gunaika as “Christian wife”. For example, in one of the earliest books of the New Testament, St. Paul made an incidental comment which is of major importance today since it helps all of us to understand better the marital status of holy men in the days of the early Church. St. Paul asked a personal question in order to defend his own freedom: “Do We not have the right to be accompanied by adelphen gunaika as the other Apostles and the Brothers of the Lord and Cephas?”
Most scholars agree that adelphe, or literally sister, in this case does NOT mean a blood relative but rather a woman who belongs to the Christian community. (Cf. Romans 16:1; 1 Corinthians 7:15, etc.). The Greek gune is an ambiguous term which has the general meaning woman or the more specific meaning wife, depending on the context. In English versions you will find that gune is translated as woman about 50% of the time and as wife the other half of the time in the New Testament.
In 1 Corinthians 9:5 you will find clues as to what gune means.
1. It would be redundant if gune meant woman, following, as it does, a term meaning Christian woman.
2. “The verb and object in this verse form the idiom gunaika periagein which means to have a wife in classical Greek” ( J. B. Bauer, UXORES CIRCUMDUCERE, Biblische Zeitschrift 3 ; 94-102; emphasis added).
3. Tradition in the early days of the Catholic Church, as recorded in the New Testament and by the Fathers of the Catholic Church, claimed that St. Peter, who is included in 1 Corinthians 9:5 as one with a gune, was married and had a mother-in-law.
“And Simon's wife's mother lay in a fit of a fever: and forthwith they tell him of her” (Mark 1:30).
“Peter whom He [Christ] found married, He severed not from his wife” (St. Thomas Aquinas [born 1225 A.D. - died March 7, 1274 A.D.], SUMMA THEOLOGICA II-II, 186, Reply to Objection 1).
"Did he [Peter] not also have a wife? Of course he had one. Listen to the testimony of the Evangelist. What does he say? Jesus entered the house of Peter's mother-in-law who was ill with a fever. [Mark 1:30] Where there is a mother-in-law, there is a wife; where there is a wife, there is a marriage" (St. John Chrysostom [born c. 347 A.D. - died 407 A.D.), IN ILLUD: VIDI DOMINUM [IS 6:1], homiliae 1-6, 4, 3; PG 56, 123c).
Clement of Alexandria wrote how the wife of Saint Peter died a martyr for the faith of the Catholic Church. Eusebius quoted Clement of Alexandria, writing: “In the seventh book of his Stromata he writes as follows: ‘They say, accordingly, that when the blessed Peter saw his own wife led out to die, he rejoiced because of her summons and her return home, and called to her very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, and saying, “Oh thou, remember the Lord.” Such was the marriage of the blessed, and their perfect disposition toward those dearest to them.’ This account being in keeping with the subject in hand, I have related here in its proper place” (Eusebius of Caesarea [born c. 260 A.D. - died c. 340 A.D.], CHURCH HISTORY, Book III, Chapter 30, # 2, quoting Clement of Alexandria, STROMATA VII, 63-64; taken from the Internet at Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Wheaton College. URL: http://ccel.wheaton.edu/ NICENE AND POST NICENE FATHERS, Series II, Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, editors, Volume I).
We will now quote from the original source. In so doing, you will notice that although the basic thoughts remain the same, some of the wording is slightly different. This would be due to differences in the copy of the STROMATA which Eusebius had used and the STROMATA which seems to be the original of Clement of Alexandria, which We use and from which We now quote because it is the original source document. There might also be differences in translating into English?
“They say, accordingly, that the blessed Peter, on seeing his wife led to death, rejoiced on account of her call and conveyance home, and called very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, ‘Remember thou the Lord.’ Such was the marriage of the blessed and their perfect disposition towards those dearest to them” (Clement of Alexandria, STROMATA, or, MISCELLANIES, Book VII, Chapter. XI, # 9; taken from the Internet at Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Wheaton College. URL: http://ccel.wheaton.edu/ ANTE-NICENE FATHERS OF THE CHURCH TO A.D. 325, Volume 2, Fathers of the Second Century).
Epiphanius lists St. Andrew among the Apostles who had wives. (Epiphanius [born ? A.D. - died 403 A.D.], PANARION, Adversus Haereses, 78, 10. PG 42, 714c).
According to St. Ambrose, St. Andrew married the sister of the wife of St. Peter: "It may be that under the symbolic figure of that woman, mother-in-law of Simon and Andrew, it was our flesh that was ill, suffering from the fever of various crimes." (Saint Ambrose [born 340 A. D. - died 397 A.D.], ESPOSITIO EVANGELII SECUNDUM LUCAM, 4; Corpus Christianorum 14, 128).4. Clement of Alexandria, who knew Greek very well, interpreted gune in 1 Corinthians 9:5 to mean wife. (Clement of Alexandria [Titus Flavius Clemens born c. 153 A.D. - died c. 215 A.D.], STROMATA III, 6, 53) - “Have We not power to carry about a [gune/wife] as well as the rest of the Apostles, and the Brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to do this?” (1 Corinthians 9:5-6; emphasis added).
5. Saint Basil accepted eleven Apostles as being married. He even used them as an example for those who wanted to get married. (St. Basil [born 329 A.D - died 379 A.D.], ON RENUNCIATION OF THE WORLD 1).
A consensus reading has long been delayed despite the solid evidence which supports translating gune as wife and adelphen gunaika as a Christian wife. Please consider these few examples.
1. Tertullian, who in his later years came to regard marriage as legalized fornication, despite the fact that he himself was married, asserted that in 1 Corinthians 9:5 Paul's connotation was “simply the unmarried women who used to minister to the Apostles in the same way as they did when accompanying the Lord” (Tertullian, a.k.a. Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus [born 160 A.D. - died ? A.D.], ON MONOGAMY 8).
2. Saint Jerome, assuming virginity to be prerequisite to the saintly life, injected his bias into his Vulgate edition of the Bible where he translated the Greek word gune as the Latin word mulier, woman, avoiding the Latin term uxor, wife. Hence, the standard Douay version, which relies on the Vulgate version, notes at 1 Corinthians 9:5 that wife is an erroneous translation!
3. This explains why the proper translation of gune as wife in English has been widely accepted only in recent years. Today exegetes of the Protestant Church [e.g., G. Kittel, editor of THEOLOGISCHES WORTERBUCH ZUM NEUEN TESTAMENT, (Stuttgart, 1933--), the term: Gune.] and the Vatican 2 Church [e.g., THE JEROME BIBLICAL COMMENTARY, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1968, 2, 267.], agree that gune in 1 Corinthians 9:5 DOES definitely mean wife. Therefore, in this passage St. Paul is affirming that he had not exercised his privilege of bringing along his wife on his missionary journeys as had the rest of the Apostles.
4. It is also possible that the original Greek text of the Acts of the Apostles may have contained an explicit reference to Apostles' wives. In the textual tradition of the West it is stated that “wives and children” of the Apostles were physically present in the “upper room” [i.e. the Cenacle] in Jerusalem after the crucifixion of Christ. ( Acts 1:12-14.). Major textual authorities today favor reading gunaikes in Acts 1:14 as wives. Therefore, this means that "the women" were all wives of the male Apostles and the male Disciples!
5. Further, it is logical to take the position that at least some wives of the Apostles were present from the beginning when their husbands were first called by Christ. Why? There is no reason to postulate any basic change in attitude towards female companionship belating a basic change in attitude towards female companionship before or after witnessing the Resurrection.
The indirect Gospel reference to the marriage of St. Peter cannot be interpreted to mean that he was the only Apostle who was married during the time of the public ministry of Christ. Since all of the male Apostles and the male Disciples were subject to the traditional mores of their Jewish culture, it is most probable that those over twenty years of age were married when Christ first called them. It is even possible that the wedding feast in Cana which Christ attended was for one of them, most probably Nathaniel, who was from Cana. The Gospel account of Christ's visit with Nathaniel comes immediately BEFORE the wedding scene. (John 1:45-2:11, 21:2).
In Luke 8:2-3 one finds reference to many women or wives (gune) who traveled with Christ and His Apostles. These gune provided for them. Now it is important to put all of this into its proper historical cultural context. It was the custom in Palestine for women to be married at the age of puberty. Hence, when one considers the danger that a guardian would surely see in permitting a single daughter to live with not one but thirteen and even more men, it is logical to take the position that most probably most or all of these women would have had to be married to these same men.
Actually, the mere idea of a traveling ladies' aid society composed of virgins is so incapable in the Judaic culture of the First Century as to be ridiculous! It is only logical that at least some of these ladies were the wives of the Apostles whose domestic obligations did not tie them down and who would have been able to withstand the rigors of a life of travel, including the frequent lack of shelter.
Another question raised by some people recently is if Christ Himself was married. Thus far, Our research indicates that Christ WAS NOT MARRIED! But, IF it is true that Christ was married, which is very, very doubtful, His wife would probably have also traveled with Him during His public ministry. Mary Magdalene is the first female designated as woman (gune) in Luke 8:2. But was she also the wife (also gune) of Christ? This question is raised, for among other reasons, because the Scripture says that the followers of Christ traveled and lodged together “two and two”. (Mark 6:7). “And after these things the Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and He sent them two and two before His face into every city and place whither He Himself was to come” (Luke 10:1).
This means that IF Christ, along with His male Apostles and male Disciples, traveled with their wives, it would be taken for granted that the married couples slept together in whatever accommodations they could find. The Scriptures are clear that Christ did NOT call to the ministry any HOMOSEXUALS! Hence, lodging together two by two seems to indicate male with female. In any event, the women continued to travel with Christ and His Apostles after leaving Galilee and going South towards Jerusalem as the Scripture indicates (Mark 15:40-41).
Christ’s Invitation to the Wives
of the Male Apostles and Male Disciples
WHY would Christ extend and invitation to the wives of the male Apostles and male Disciples to become part of His “company” and, for those who were physically and otherwise able to do so, to travel with Him and their husbands? Here are several reasons.
1. Christ was keenly aware of the Scriptures. In practical terms, this means that the presence of the wives of His male followers, all of whom were Jewish, would alleviate the inevitable gossip and also remove suspicion-in two words-this gave Christ and His male followers instant integrity and credibility in the eyes of the Jewish people. This is one of the basic factors, too often ignored today, which accounts for the successes which Christ had during His public ministry and why so many families thronged both around Him as well as the male and female members of His “company”, as the Scriptures call it.
You only need to recall how suspicious the Jews of that time were taught to be towards single men who traveled by themselves. For example, in the third most widely-quoted book of the Old Testament which quotations are used in various liturgical books, and which was originally written in the 2nd Century B.C., one finds first how highly praised a good wife is and yet how suspicious everyone had to be regarding men who traveled either without their wives or who were not married.
All of this is succinctly set forth in this Scripture:
“The beauty of a woman cheereth the countenance of her husband, and a man desireth nothing more. If she have a tongue that can cure, and likewise mitigate and shew mercy: her husband is not like other men. He that possesseth a good wife, beginneth a possession: she is a help like to himself, and a pillar of rest. Where there is no hedge, the possession shall be spoiled: and where there is no wife, he mourneth that is in want. Who will trust him that hath no rest, and that lodgeth wheresoever the night taketh him, as a robber well appointed, that skippeth from city to city” (Ecclesiasticus 36:24-28; emphasis added).2. The presence of their wives set an example to all wives of all of the places to which the “company” traveled of how best to provide for the needs and comforts of their husbands, even under difficult conditions.
3. The presence of their wives would underscore the teachings of Christ on family values and how the family is the basic hub of society. The presence of their wives, and perhaps at times some of their children, would have taught the people of those days how important the family is and how important family values really are by teaching this in a very visual and exemplary way. This would definitely have been teaching more by example than by words.
To better understand that these are not mere words to be quickly glanced over and forgotten, or otherwise sluffed off, to be set aside and ignored in a shrine of pious wishes and platitudes, We respectfully request that you seriously ponder the significance of this more deeply. In order to assist you in this regard, please remember that before this time, others had tried to instill family values as well, but such reforms failed sooner or later. The reform inaguarated by Christ, based upon the exercise of genuine virtue as the result of living a real spiritual life nourished by Sanctify Grace as the result of assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and by the frequent reception of the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist, became permanent for these reasons.
One such example, bereft of Grace and the sources of Sanctifying Grace and therefore doomed to failure before it began, was a humanistic family values program which the first Roman Emperor, Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavius) Augustus [born 63 B.C. - died 14 A.D.], tried to re-establish as part of his Pax Romana (Roman peace) in order to bring about a society which would have good morals and to do away with the then present moral corruption to be found on every hand. As you might expect, this was met with fierce opposition, not only from many of the pagan Romans and the uncivilized peoples of the Roman Empire, but even from within his own family in the person of his “free-bird” daughter, Julia [born 39 B.C. - died of starvation 14 A.D.], who lived a profligate life, who did not want that “guilt trip” put on her, and who was a “regular” who made the rounds of the "red lamp" or "red lantern" districts of Rome. Flaky, irresponsible, “party-animal” Julia, a devotee of licentiousness and pagan secular humanistic freedom, i.e., if it feels good, do it, sorely tried the patience of her father, Augustus, who tried to be a kind, sympathetic, understanding father. But Julia, as rebellious as ever, finally so provoker her father, the Emperor, that he was forced to banish her to the island of Pandataria in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
In contradistinction to Julia, the aggressive, tyrannical and evil daughter of the Roman Emperor Augustus, imagine instead another daughter, pure in the innocence of her childhood, namely, little Petronilla, maybe about five or six years old, sitting on the knee of her father, Saint Peter, with another of her siblings sitting on his other knee and the third sibling sitting on the lap of their mother, the wife of Saint Peter, who would be next to her husband, both parents sitting on some rocks. In your mind’s eye see how rapt in attention Saint Peter and his wife would have been as they breathlessly listened to Christ as He taught them the beautiful truths of the Catholic Faith, along with the large multitudes of people composed of husbands and wives with their children.
Consider the same situation with the other married Apostles and the married Disciples, including Saint Philip with his three or four daughters, who would be sitting next to his wife, as well as Saint Jude Thaddeus sitting next to his wife Mary. Probably with them would have been at least their one known child, but possibly more, since it is known that they had at least one child.
For those of you who are interested in more information, you will find that some apocryphal works have some details on some of the children of the Apostles, especially on Petronilla, the daughter of St. Peter. Here are several selections:
1) L. Vouaux, LES ACTES DE PIERRE, Paris, 1922. This work contains some Coptic fragments found in THE ACTS OF PETER, pp. 221-227.
2) Lipsius and Bonnet edited THE ACTS OF PHILIP, 142, 2-2, 81.
3) THE ACTS OF SAINTS NEREUS AND ACHILLEUS, 4, 15; found in ACTA SANCTORUM MAII, 3rd. edition, III, pp. 10-15. 4.
4) R. Gryson, LES ORIGINES DU CELIBAT ECCLESIASTIQUE DU PREMIER AU SEPTIEME SIECLE, Gemblous, 1970, pp. 9-10, gives a good exposition of the apocryphal accounts on St. Peter's daughter Petronilla.
You will recall how Christ even performed miracles for the families who composed the multitudes: “And He [Christ] coming forth saw a great multitude, and had compassion on them, and healed their sick. And when it was evening, His Disciples came to Him, saying: This is a desert place, and the hour is now past: send away the multitudes, that going into the towns, they may buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said to them, They have no need to go: give you them to eat. They answered Him: We have not here, but five loaves, and two fishes. He said to them: Bring them hither to Me. And when He had commanded the multitudes to sit down upon the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to Heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His Disciples, and the Disciples to the multitudes. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up what remained, twelve full baskets of fragments. And the number of them that did eat, was five thousand men, besides women and children” (Matthew 14:14-21).
This Gospel text proves that entire families would come to listen to Christ teaching and preaching. But why was it that they felt comfortable doing this; felt safe from harm and danger and from the warning “Who will trust him that hath no rest, and that lodgeth wheresoever the night taketh him, as a robber well appointed, that skippeth from city to city” (Ecclesiasticus 36:28)? Because some of the wives of the married Apostles and the married Disciples were present, probably along with some of their own children.
You remember Christ loved the little children. There are various paintings which have been done on this subject, in part based upon this Scripture: “Then were little children presented to Him, that He should impose hands upon them and pray. And the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to Me: for the Kingdom of Heaven is for such. And when He had imposed hands upon them, He departed from thence” (Matthew 19:13-15).
Here, again, yet more proof that it was primarily families who came to listen to Christ reveal God’s Holy Word to them. Imagine how approximately 5,000 families, especially the mothers and fathers of these families, would not only be listening to what Christ said, but who noticed the excellent examples which His married Apostles and married Disciples gave to them. The multitudes of married couples could see the married couples of Christ’s “company”, the Apostles and Disciples who were also husbands as well as their wives, sitting side by side with each other with their children next to them on the grass, living examples for all of the families which comprised the large multitude! Surely Saint Jude, and most probably Mary, his wife, were both there at the feet of Christ with their child or children.
Another Evangelist recounts it this way: “From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder...And they brought to Him young children, that He might touch them. And the Disciples rebuked them that brought them. Whom when Jesus saw, He was much displeased, and saith to them: Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the Kingdom of God. Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it. And embracing them, and laying His hands upon them, He blessed them” (Mark 10:6-9; 13-16).
Christ here first speaks about marriage and then becomes upset that His Disciples were not letting the little children come to Him. Here again is proof that FAMILIES, husbands and wives, with their children, all came to hear Him and then to ask that their children see Him and receive His blessing. But these scenes, which were undoubtedly repeated over and over again during the public ministry of Christ, would probably never have happened if at least some of the wives of the married Apostles, such as Mary, the wife of Jude, and the wives of the married Disciples, probably with some of their own children, had not been present. The bottom line is that a group of only men traveling around the country would have been very suspicious to the Jewish people. There would have been a blockage there, namely: “Who will trust him that hath no rest, and that lodgeth wheresoever the night taketh him, as a robber well appointed, that skippeth from city to city” (Ecclesiasticus 36:28; emphasis added)?
4. Their wives could later function as evangelistic co-partners during their missionary journeys as exampled by Clement of Alexandria who tells all of us that the Apostles took their wives along with them so “that they [the wives of the Apostles] might be their fellow-ministers in dealing with housewives. It was through them [the wives of the Apostles] that the Lord's teaching penetrated also the women's quarters without any scandal being aroused” (Clement of Alexandria, MISCELLANIES 3, 6, 53). Thus the special vocation and mission of the wives of the Apostles and Disciples in the Catholic Church. This explains why it was necessary for God the Holy Ghost to descend upon all of the women, especially on the wives of the Apostles and Disciples, on that first Pentecost Sunday, as well as on everyone else, in the form of tongues of fire.
This custom of only women teaching other women and children remained in the Catholic Church for some time. It was even attacked, as one Church Historian relates: “Accordingly, he [Roman Emperor Licinius (emperor from 308 A.D. - 324 A.D.)] passed a second law, which enjoined that men should not appear in company with women in the houses of prayer, and forbade women to attend the sacred schools of virtue, or to receive instruction from the Bishops, directing the appointment of women to be teachers of their own sex. These regulations being received with general ridicule, he devised other, means for effecting the ruin of the churches” (Eusebius of Caesarea [born c. 260 A.D. - died c. 340 A.D.], THE LIFE OF THE BLESSED EMPEROR CONSTANTINE, Book I, Chapter LIII, Edict of Licinius that Women should not meet with the Men in the Churches; taken from the Internet at Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Wheaton College. URL: http://ccel.wheaton.edu/ NICENE AND POST NICENE FATHERS, Series II, Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, editors, Volume I).
Whether or not the wives of the Apostles and the Disciples had a special name remains to be discovered. But because of their special vocation, perhaps they had a special name or title. We have in mind something like “Episcopissa”, the title given to Hildeberga who was the validly married wife of a validly married Bishop who is known to history as Bishop Segenfrid of Le Mans. He was the Bishop of Le Mans for 33 years. He married Hildeberga while he was the Bishop of Le Mans. This was a big event in this diocese and the Bishop invited all of the members of his diocese to his marriage in his cathedral church at Le Mans. The cathedral was packed with people, Priests, Religious and Laity. Bishop Segenfrid and his wife Hildeberga had many children, including a son by the name of Alberic.
The term “Episcopissa” seems more reserved, however, to the wives of the Apostles and Disciples because not only did they catechize the women and children, as per Clement of Alexandria, MISCELLANIES 3, 6, 53, but, in order to avoid even greater scandals, they would have had to Baptize all of these women and children as well because in those days Baptism was done by immersion. But also each Catechumen was annointed with the Oil of Catechumens, not as it is done today, but rather almost the entire body was annointed with the Oil of Catechumens, excepting the head, the top of which was then later annointed with another Holy Oil called Sacred Chrism, similar to the way it is done today.
You can imagine the scandals there would have been if the male Apostles and the male Disciples had Baptized women and children, especially when it came time for the annointing of the entire body with the Oil of Catechumens! Yet it was not fair to the women and children not to be Baptized and not to be annointed with the Holy Oils, most especially the Oil of Catechumens, for obvious reasons.
Christ had restored dignity to women. Now the Catholic Church, under the guidance of God the Holy Ghost, in the person of the inspired Apostles, obviously considered it to be most wise and prudent to let the their wives Baptize and annoint the bodies of women and children. The Catholic Church was the bastion of virtue, not vice. In order to preserve virtue, such things were necessary.
You can perhaps see this more clearly when you compare such virtue in the Catholic Church, which made every attempt to prevent scandal, with what was happening in the secular world at that time as one Father of the Church so vividly recounts, whom We quote below. Please note that We present the following quotation only for the purpose of giving much more life to this comparison.
However, We have taken the precaution of deleting certain words which would make the reading of this text morally objectionable. However, using the remaining words in their context, one should still be able to get some idea as to the depths of depravity to which the pagans had sunk. Please keep in mind that the “public baths” were, in some respects, but only in some respects, somewhat similar to the public swimming pools which most communities in the United States have today. But there are notable differences. One of these many notable differences is that the water of the ancient baths did not have any chemicals added to it, e.g. chlorine, to kill bacteria and germs, etc. as is done in the modern swimming pools of today. Other noticable differences should become self-evident since We prefer not even to write such words:
“They [certain women] will scarce s.... before their own husbands affecting a plausible pretence of modesty; but any others who wish, may s.. them at home shut up n.... in their b..... For there they are not ashamed to s.... before s........., as if e....... their persons for s.... But Hesiod advises ‘Not to w... the s... in the women's b....’ The [public] baths are opened promiscuously to men and women; and there they s.... for licentious indulgence (for from looking, men get to loving), as if their modesty had been washed away in the bath. Those who have not become utterly destitute of modesty shut out strangers; but b.... with their own s......., and s..... n..... before their s....., and are r..... by them; giving to the c........ menial liberty to lust, by permitting fearless h........ For those who are introduced before their n.... m......... while in the b..., study to s.... themselves in order to audacity in l..., casting off fear in consequence of the wicked custom. The ancient athletes, ashamed to exhibit a man n...., preserved their modesty by going through the contest in drawers; but these women, divesting themselves of their modesty along with their t...., wish to appear beautiful, but contrary to their wish are simply proved to be wicked. For through the b... itself the wantonness of l... shines clearly; as in the case of d........ people, the water c...... by the s..... Disease in both is known from the look. Men, therefore, affording to women a noble example of truth, ought to be ashamed at their s........ before them, and guard against these dangerous sights; ‘for he who has looked.curiously,’ it is said, ‘hath sinned already’” (Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus, THE INSTRUCTOR, Book III, Chapter V, Behavior in the Baths).Therefore, if nothing else, this quotation should be more than enough to make it self-evident that it required the wives of the Apostles and Disciples, who were, of course, women themselves, to both liturgically Baptize and annoint all of the women and children with the two Holy Oils to show all the world that the Church has nothing in common, and that there is no basis of even the slightest comparison, of the behavior of all during a Baptism and the behavior of the wild and wicked pagan peoples at the public and even private baths!
Here again, We must ask you to pause and to reflect how something which is taken so much for granted today would have appeared to the pagans of the world of almost 2,000 years ago! The pagans did not understand the spiritual and ritual concept of Baptism because they had nothing in their culture like it. But they did have something remotely, very remotely, similar to it-their public baths! And, of course, Baptism, by which one is washed with water, is an outward tangible sign whereby the water which is used to wash the body represents how the soul is washed from Original Sin and all actual sins, including mortal sins and venial sins, by the power of the Holy Sacrament of Baptism.
Thus it was extremely necessary for the Apostles and their wives to demonstrate to the pagan world of their day, in short, to their pagan contemporaries, that there were major differences between being bathed by the waters of Baptism and bathing in the public and private baths (which were a kind of ancient swimming pool) of pagan society which were occasions of all kinds of sin.
This would have been necessary because the pagan world at that time would have otherwise misinterpreted the Baptismal bath as nothing more or less than a ritualized form, or as some say today “platform”, of the licentious and wicked and lewd behavior which frequently happened at pagan public and private baths.
Obviously, if one thinks of these places as being, in some way, similar to today’s public swimming pools, the comparison may become more clear? In other words, if the Apostles and their wives were alive today, they would not want the pagan peoples confusing what people do at and in swimming pools with the administration of the Holy Sacrament of Baptism!
But since only an ordained Priest or a consecrated Bishop can liturgically administer the holy Sacrament of Baptism, this opens the door to the distinct possibility that those wives of the Apostles and Disciples who did this would have had to have been validly ordained Priests and/or consecrated Bishops themselves! This is not an impossibility at all! Recall how ALL of the people, including all of the women, in the Cenacle, received the Holy Ghost on that first Pentecost Sunday to help them properly fulfill their vocation and public ministry in the Catholic Church!
There may be some proof for this found in the Catacomb of St. Priscilla in Rome in which there are a number of paintings of women. It is clear that they are women because of their facial features, the jewelry they are wearing and the shape of their bodies. In one painting, seven women are shown concelebrating Mass! Other paintings depict women making gestures of liturgical leadership.
Who were these women? Because of what they were doing, they all had to be at least validly ordained Priests and perhaps some of them were validly consecrated Bishops. Perhaps one or even several, or maybe all of them, were the wives of the Apostles, possibly including Mary, the wife of the Apostle, Saint Jude Thaddeus?
It is also possible that one or several of them might be some of the women who are mentioned in several of the 27 books of the New Testament. Since this is another long subject, We will continue instead with the biographical data about Saint Jude Thaddeus and his wife Mary. In passing, however, We will mention that historically there have been women who were in fact validly ordained Priests and other women who were validly consecrated Bishops! Even the Scripture testifies to this, namely the Second Epistle of Saint John which the Apostle Saint John wrote to a woman who was a Bishop-Elect, despite vain attempts to the contrary to disprove this!
There has been a strong penchant among certain churches since the V-2 synod in the 1960's to return to the days of antiquity, especially the liturgical rites used for offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and for administering the Seven Sacraments, including Baptism, despite this timely warning of Pius XII: “it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts” (Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli [Thursday, March 2, 1939 - Thursday, October 9, 1958], Encyclical MEDIATOR DEI, Thursday, November 20, 1947, # 62; emphasis added.)
It is self-evident that the innovators of the Vatican 2 "church" have strayed “from the straight path” by restoring the altar “to its primitive tableform”, by excluding black “as a color for the liturgical vestments”, by throwing out statues in churches or otherwise forbidding “the use of sacred images and statues in Churches”, by throwing out traditional crucifixes which showed the horrible sufferings of Christ and replacing them with the “risen Christ” versions and in this way have they ordered “the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings”, etc. These innovators should be ashamed of themselves! They WILL have to render a strict accounting of their actions to the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, the Just Judge.
But it is instructive and very interesting what the innovators have NOT done! They have been very selective on what they have been reducing “to antiquity by every possible device”. Thus, the innovators have NOT restored married Priests and Bishops. The innovators have NOT restored the Sacrament of Holy Orders, especially the Sacraments of the Priesthood and the Episcopacy to women! The innovators have NOT restored the original rubrics for the Sacrament of Baptism in which each Catechumen is bathed from head to foot with water in the process known as immersion, and in which the entire body, from the neck down, is anointed with the Oil of Catechumens, and in which the top of the head is anointed with Sacred Chrism.
Neither have the innovators returned to the days of antiquity when, in order to avoid scandal, the custom was that only male Priests/Bishops would catechize and then Baptize only adult men while female Priests/Bishops would catechize and then Baptize only women and children.
We ask these innovators, WHY only such half-way measures? Why are the innovators afraid to go all the way?! It seems to Us that if someone claims that the primary reason why they are ripping the altars out of the churches, and why they are throwing statues, pictures and crucifixes out of the churches, to be burned or buried or sent off to the garbage dump, and why they are throwing out all black vestments or burning them, etc. is because they want to return to the original authentic way that things were done during the times of the Apostles, a.k.a. during the days of antiquity, that they would use this excuse, er, “reason”, for EVERYTHING, and not just to pick and to choose some things while they leave other things, e.g. leave the heresy of dualism in the prominent place it was so placed by the blood-thirsty butcher of the married Priests of Milan, Italy, and the selling of their wives as prostitutes to the rich nobles, a.k.a. the Benedictine monk and “homuncio”, Hildebrand of Soana, Italy, a.k.a., "Pope" and "Saint" Gregory VII [Tuesday, April 22, 1073 - Monday, May 25, 1085]!.
Ironically, the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church have always had married Clergy, including not only Deacons, but also Priests and Bishops. But even in the West, there were married Priests and Bishops up to the time of Gregory VII. But more ironically, a number of popes were married and at least two popes were the sons of previous popes! In Our book (SECRET 3 THE MARRIED POPES, copyright (c) 1989 by Jacobus Maria DeJesus, C.M.F., D.D.), We list the names of these married popes and the names of the popes who were the sons of popes, as well as listing the names of some of the many validly and lawfully married Priests and Bishops in the West who were members of the Catholic Church.
One Priest-researcher has asked the question: “Do we realize that perhaps even as many as 40 popes have been validly married?” (Rev. Thomas M. Pucelik, HOMILETIC & PASTORAL REVIEW, “Optional Celibacy and the N.A.P.R.”, September, 1967, p. 1019b.) We called this very same Priest by telephone in the summer of 1986. During the course of this telephone conversation, We asked him if he had in fact been able to document his statement that 40 popes had in fact been validly married as he had claimed in his magazine article. We did this because We always try to verify everything before We write about it or quote it. Father Pucelik very vehemently indicated that his research had in fact been done very carefully and he further claimed, without any reservations, that his statement “that perhaps even as many as 40 popes have been validly married” was correct based upon his research. As a matter of fact, Father told Us that he still had his notes and other data from his research in a storage box in his garage! Our own research indicates that the actual number of validly and lawfully married popes may have been much higher than just 40!
IF what two researchers have written is in fact true, specifically, that the present pope, John-Paul 2, Karol Wyotya, [October 16, 1978-present], married a Catholic choir girl, during World War II during the Nazi occupation of Poland, then the pope is a hypocrite to demand clerical celibacy! For those of you who are interested in this, Our source is IL PASTORE VENUTO DA LONTANO (The Pastor Has Come a Long Way), by Stefano De Andreis and Marcella Leone. The French Priest, Abbe Robin, agrees with these authors. In Our book (SECRET 3, THE MARRIED POPES, copyright (c) 1989 by Jacobus Maria DeJesus, C.M.F., D.D.), We reveal the name of the alleged wife of pope John-Paul 2, Karol Wyotya, who, at the time of his alleged marriage was an actor. Father Robin also claims that pope John Paul 2's book LOVE AND RESPONSIBILITY, published in 1962, clearly alludes to his own married life.
The movie “The Pope Must Die” was apparently changed under pressure from the Vatican to “The Pope Must Diet”. It depicts a guitar-playing Priest who is elected pope by a certain Mafia Cardinal(s) and others. Some scenes later a woman appears with whom he had an illicit encounter and, unknown to the pope, his son is a famous rock musician! The scene where the pope is in his sweats in his Vatican apartment doing aerobics to the tune of sweating to the oldies, in this case the "oldies" being "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John!", was probably stuck in it after the title of the movie was forcibly changed? The apparent similiarities between this movie and pope John-Paul 2 seem somewhat ironical. In the movie version, the pope is elected by Mafia influence, the pope comes across his former mistress and the pope has a son who is a rock star. In the life of pope John-Paul 2, the pope was elected by a political party, apparently at odds with the previous pope, John-Paul 1, whom some allege was murdered, the pope allegedly was married, and, according to various photos We have seen, We wonder if it possible that the pope even had one or several children?
This heresy of dualism, which springs from various poisonous sources, e.g. the heresies of Buddhism, has been dressed up to be made more respectable and given the high-sounding name of “clerical celibacy” which certainly sounds good, but is not good and sound because irregardless whatever fancy name they give it, it still remains a heresy of dualism and it is still ultimately designed for one purpose, and for this one ultimate purpose only, namely, to continue to make the pope politically powerful!
So in this section, you have learned that the Apostles, which would have included Saint Jude, catechized only men and liturgically Baptized them, while the wives of the Apostles, which most probably would have included his wife, Mary, catechized the women and children as well as liturgically Baptized them.
5. The Scriptures provides evidence of the husband/wife teamwork which happened in the active missionary work. Prisca and Aquila were referred to by St. Paul as “fellow workers in Christ Jesus” and in charge of a “domus ecclesia” (home church) which was in their home: “Salute Prisca [Priscilla] and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus, Who have for my life laid down their own necks: to whom not I only give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. And the church which is in their house” (Romans 16:3-5).
More information is learned about these two from the Acts of the Apostles: “And finding a certain Jew, named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with Priscilla his wife, (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome,) he came to them. And because he was of the same trade, he remained with them, and wrought; (now they were tentmakers by trade.) And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, bringing in the name of the Lord Jesus; and he persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” (Acts 18:2-4).
One example of this husband/wife teamwork is found in this Scripture: “Now a certain Jew, named Apollo, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus, one mighty in the scriptures. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, spoke, and taught diligently the things that are of Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John. This man therefore began to speak boldly in the synagogue. Whom when Priscilla and Aquila had heard, they took him to them, and expounded to him the way of the Lord more diligently” (Acts 18:24-26).
“The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house, with whom I also lodge” (1 Corinthians 16:19).
This “domus ecclesia” (home church) which was “the church that is in their house” could also provide us with more information, too.
At this early time in the history of the Catholic Church, there were no church buildings, per se. As a matter of fact, because of the impending bloody persecutions against the Catholic Church, she was forced to go underground into the Catacombs to survive until relative peace came in the person of the Roman Emperor Constantine [emperor from 306 A.D. - 337 A.D.] with the Edict of Milan which he and Emperor Licinius [emperor from 308 A.D. - 324 A.D.] signed in March, 313 A.D. It was a logical conclusion to the Edict of Toleration which was issued by the Roman Emperor Galerius [emperor from 305 A.D. - 311 A.D.] on his death-bed and which was also signed by the other Emperors, Constantine and Licinius in 311 A.D. (Maximin Daza [emperor from 309 A.D. - 313 A.D.], who ruled Egypt and Syria, refused to sign it.)
One historian writes that “what Constantine gathered from his famous dream in September 312 was that this supreme divinity was promising him salvation in this military crisis, had despatched a messenger to assure him of it and to tell him how to act, and that this messenger was Christ, the God whom the Christians worshipped, and that the badge his soldiers must wear was the sign of Christ, the cross. He did not, on the morrow of his victory, ask for baptism, nor even to be enrolled as a catechumen. Constantine was never so much as even this. And not until he lay dying, twenty-five years later, was he baptised.”
“It was, then, an all but uninstructed, if enthusiastic, convert who now, with all the caution of an experienced politician, set his name to the Edict of Milan ( 313 ), set up the Christian religion as a thing legally permissible, endowed its chief shrines with regal munificence, showered civic privileges, honours, and jurisdiction on its bishops, and even began the delicate task of introducing Christian ideas into the fabric of the law” (Msgr. Philip Hughes, THE CHURCH IN CRISIS: A History of the General Councils: 325-1870, Chapter 1, The First General Council of Nicaea, 325).
If memory serves correctly, at least one “domus ecclesia” in Rome had a secret entrance into one of the famous Roman Catacombs where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered and the Sacraments were administered and the martyrs were buried.
It would be some time before the time when splendid buildings were built, called “churches”, in which to more fittingly offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in which to administer the Sacraments, especially Baptism, Penance, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders and Matrimony. (The Sacrament of Extreme Unction is usually administered in the private residence of the sick person or in a hospital or wherever the sick or dying person might be, even by the side of the road in the case of a traffic accident.)
At first, most churches were private homes, called a “domus ecclesia”, frequently the private homes of married Priests and married Bishops. In Rome one such “domus ecclesia” belonged to Prisca or Priscilla and her husband Aquila as St. Paul writes: “Salute Prisca [Priscilla] and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus, Who have for my life laid down their own necks: to whom not I only give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. And the church which is in their house” (Romans 16:3-5).
Another point, besides that of the “domus ecclesia” which one can too easily overlook is the term “my helpers in Christ Jesus”. What does this mean? To what does it refer? It could refer to Sacramental equality? IF this is true, then both Priscilla and her husband were on the same Sacramental level as St. Paul, i.e. they would have been Bishops. That Priscilla is mentioned first in this passage indicates a place of honor because, at least at this time, she apparently had done more work for the Church than her husband, perhaps because he had to work full-time in his tent-making business which meant that his wife simply had more time for Church work.
Full colored paintings in the Catacomb of St. Priscilla from the first century prove that in the early years of the Catholic Church in Rome, women were in fact Priests and Bishops. Perhaps the female Bishop depicted in one or several of these painting represent St. Priscilla herself? Is it possible that maybe St. Priscilla and her husband, Aquila, were even the first resident Bishops of Rome? If this is so, this would mean that the Catholic Church in Rome had Bishops in charge before the year 57 A.D., possibly a full ten years before Saint Peter set foot in Rome for the first time? Possibly about five years before Saint Paul was taken to the city of Rome as a prisoner in 62 A.D.? The Epistle which Saint Paul wrote to the Romans was actually written when he was in Corinth, in about the year 57 A.D., during his third missionary journey.
Although there is no evidence that any of the other Apostles were ever in the city of Rome, including Saint Jude, nevertheless it is most likely that Saint Jude, as would have been true for the other Apostles also, was familiar with the “domus ecclesia” in the regions he evangelized. He may have even set up many of these in-home churches. In any event, Saint Jude, just like all of the other Apostles, would have had to have had places where they offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and administered the Sacraments. The wife of Saint Jude, if she was also a Priest and perhaps a Bishop, would likewise have offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and administered the Sacraments in the in-home churches.
6. Each wife of an Apostle could also have been designated as an “Apostle” in an extended sense, since, despite furtive attempts of some androcentric textual critics to convert a feminine name into a masculine name, it is probable that both Andronicus and Julia were called “notable Apostles” in Romans 16:7 (Cf., William E. Phipps, WAS JESUS MARRIED?, Chapter V, "Paul and Sexual Relations", pp. 99-102). Please note that “Ioulia”, or “Iounia”, another feminine name, is found in other manuscripts of Scripture. This is the source for the names Julia and Junia which We have used elsewhere in Our works, including this book.
Therefore, for all of the above reasons, especially the translation of adelphen gunaika as Christian wife, there seems to be a sufficient proof for Us to take the position that Saint Paul was in fact married. As to WHY St. Paul's wife did not travel with him, this is left to speculation-and there seems to have been no lack of it. The real reason(s) could be simply practical. It seems to Us that one should not attempt to read anything into this beyond what has been presented. As for the other wives of the Apostles, including Mary, the wife of the Apostle Saint Jude, it is quite probable that she went with her husband on his missionary trips, if for no other reason than to catechize the women and children and to liturgically Baptize them, thus making her at least a validly ordained Priest, and possibly a validly consecrated Bishop. She most probably had received one of the tongues of fire when God the Holy Ghost descended upon ALL of the men and women in the Cenacle on that first Pentecost Sunday.
Jude Thaddeus and His Wife, Mary
Although We have been unable to find any explict mention of Jude’s wife, Mary, in what follows, it is still possible that she traveled with her husband, as did some of the wives of some of the other Apostles, at least on some of his missionary trips. Please keep in mind that what follows is time-compressed, the actual events happening over a period of years. Some of these chronologies begin before the death of Christ on the Cross. Rather than break the text and place that part of it in a strict chronological order above, We have chosen to keep it intact as originally written.
There are several different texts regarding the missionary work and travels of Saint Jude Thaddeus. What follows are the actual texts taken from the Internet at Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Wheaton College. URL: http://ccel.wheaton.edu/ All of the texts found below are taken directly from the ANTE-NICENE FATHERS OF THE CHURCH TO A.D. 325, Volume 8.
In order to present a more comprehensive view, We will simply present the various texts to you, without comment, for you to draw your own conclusions. These texts are given in Volume 8 of the work designated above. You will find that some of these texts are either similar or identical on some details. But there are also differences among them as well. We suggest that you pray to God the Holy Ghost for discernment as to which details are factual. We have not used quotation marks to help avoid confusion, even though what follows are direct quotations from the source given above.
Text of The Acts of the Holy Apostle [Jude] Thaddeus,
One of the Twelve
LEBBAEUS, who also is Thaddaeus, was of the city of Edessa--and it is the metropolis of Osroene, in the interior of the Armenosyrians--an Hebrew by race, accomplished and most learned in the divine writings. He came to Jerusalem to worship in the days of John the Baptist; and having heard his preaching and seen his angelic life, he was baptized, and his name was called Thaddaeus. And having seen the appearing of Christ, and His teaching, and His wonderful works, he followed Him, and became His disciple; and He [Christ] chose him as one of the Twelve [Apostles], the tenth Apostle according to the Evangelists Matthew and Mark.
In those times there was a governor of the city of Edessa, Abgarus by name. And there having gone abroad the fame of Christ, of the wonders which He did, and of His teaching, Abgarus having heard of it, was astonished, and desired to see Christ, and could not leave his city and government. And about the days of the Passion and the plots of the Jews, Abgarus, being seized by an incurable disease, sent a letter to Christ by Ananias the courier, to the following effect:--To Jesus called Christ, Abgarus the governor of the country of the Edessenes, an unworthy slave. The multitude of the wonders done by thee has been heard of by me, that thou healest the blind, the lame, and the paralytic, and curest all the demoniacs; and on this account I entreat thy goodness to come even to us, and escape from the plottings of the wicked Jews, which through envy they set in motion against thee. My city is small, but large enough for both. Abgarus enjoined Ananias to take accurate account of Christ, of what appearance He was, and His stature, and His hair, and in a word everything.
And Ananias, having gone and given the letter, was carefully looking at Christ, but was unable to fix Him in his mind. And He knew as knowing the heart, and asked to wash Himself; and a towel was given Him; and when He had washed Himself, He wiped His face with it. And His image having been imprinted upon the linen, He gave it to Ananias, saying: Give this, and take back this message, to him that sent thee: Peace to thee and thy city! For because of this I am come, to suffer for the world, and to rise again, and to raise up the forefathers. And after I have been taken up into the heavens I shall send thee My disciple Thaddaeus, who shall enlighten thee, and guide thee into all the truth, both thee and thy city.
And having received Ananias, and fallen down and adored the likeness, Abgarus was cured of his disease before Thaddaeus came.
And after the passion, and the resurrection, and the ascension, Thaddaeus went to Abgarus; and having found him in health, he gave him an account of the incarnation of Christ, and baptized him, with all his house. And having instructed great multitudes, both of Hebrews and Greeks. Syrians and Armenians, he baptized them in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, having anointed them with the holy perfume [Holy Oil]; and he communicated to them of the undefiled mysteries of the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and delivered to them to keep and observe the law of Moses, and to give close heed to the things that had been said by the Apostles in Jerusalem. For year by year they came together to the passover, and again he imparted to them the Holy Spirit.
And Thaddaeus along with Abgarus destroyed idol-temples and built churches; ordained as Bishop one of his disciples, and presbyters, and deacons, and gave them the rule of the psalmody and the Holy Liturgy [i.e. the Liturgical Rite for offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and administering the Seven Sacraments]. And having left them, he went to the city of Amis, great metropolis of the Mesechaldeans and Syrians, that is, of Mesopotamia-Syria, beside the river Tigris. And he having gone into the synagogue of the Jews along with his disciples on the Sabbath-day, after the reading of the law the high priest said to Thaddaeus and his disciples: Men, whence are you? and why are you here?
And Thaddaeus said: No doubt you have heard of what has taken place in Jerusalem about Jesus Christ, and we are His disciples, and witnesses of the wonderful things which He did and taught, and how through hatred the chief priests delivered Him to Pilate the procurator of Judaea. And Pilate, having examined Him and found no case, wished to let Him go; but they cried out, If thou let him go, thou art not Caesar's friend, because he proclaims himself king. And he being afraid, washed his hands in the sight of the multitude, and said, I am innocent of the blood of this man; see ye to it. And the chief priests answered and said, His blood be upon us and our children. And Pilate gave him up to them. And they took Him, and spit upon Him, with the soldiers, and made a great mock of Him, and crucified Him, and laid Him in the tomb, and secured it well, having also set guards upon Him. And on the third day before dawn He rose, leaving His burial-clothes in the tomb. And He was seen first by His mother and other women, and by Peter and John first of my fellow disciples, and thereafter to us the Twelve, who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection for many days. And He sent us in His name to proclaim repentance and remission of sins to all the nations, that those who were baptized, having had the kingdom of the heavens preached to them, would rise up incorruptible at the end of this age; and He gave us power to expel demons, and heal every disease and every malady, and raise the dead.
And the multitudes having heard this, brought together their sick and demoniacs. And Thaddeus, having gone forth along with his disciples, laid his hand upon each one of them, and healed them all by calling upon the name of Christ. And the demoniacs were healed before Thaddeus came near them, the spirits going out of them. And for many days the people ran together from different places, and beheld what was done by Thaddeus. And hearing his teaching, many believed, and were baptized, confessing their sins.
Having therefore remained with them for five years, he built a church; and having appointed as Bishop one of his disciples, and presbyters, and deacons, and prayed for them, he went away, going round the cities of Syria, and teaching, and healing all the sick; whence he brought many cities and countries to Christ through His teaching. Teaching, therefore, and evangelizing along with the disciples, and healing the sick, he went to Berytus, a city of Phoenicia by the sea; and there, having taught and enlightened many, he fell asleep on the twenty-first of the month of August. And the disciples having come together, buried him with great honour; and many sick were healed, and they gave glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.”
Ancient Syriac Documents Relating to the Earliest
of Christianity in Edessa and the Neighbouring Countries.
From the History of the Church
THE STORY CONCERNING THE KING OF EDESSA.
Now the story relating to Thaddaeus was on this wise:--
While the Godhead of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ was proclaimed among all men by reason of the astonishing mighty-works which He wrought, and myriads, even from countries remote from the land of Judaea, who were afflicted with sicknesses and diseases of every kind, were coming to Him in the hope of being healed, King Abgar also, who was renowned among the nations on the east of the Euphrates for his valour, had his body wasting away with a grievous disease, such as there is no cure for among men. And when he heard and was informed of the name of Jesus, and about the mighty works which He did,--for every one alike bore witness concerning Him,--he sent a letter of request by a man belonging to him, and besought Him to come and heal him of his disease.
But our Saviour at the time that he asked Him did not comply with his request. Yet He deigned to give him a letter in reply: for He promised him that He would send one of His disciples, and heal his sicknesses, and give salvation to him and to all who were connected with him. Nor did He delay to fulfil His promise to him: but after He was risen from the place of the dead, and was received into heaven, Thomas the Apostle, one of the Twelve, as by an impulse from God, sent Thaddeus, (who was himself also numbered among the seventy disciples of Christ, to Edessa, to be a preacher and proclaimer of the teaching of Christ; and the promise of Christ was through him fulfilled.
Thou hast in writing the evidence of these things, which is taken from the Book of Records which was at Edessa: for at that time the kingdom was still standing. In the documents, then, which were there, in which was contained whatever was done by those of old down to the time of Abgar, these things also are found preserved down to the present hour. There is, however, nothing to prevent our hearing the very letters themselves, which have been taken by us from the archives, and are in words to this effect, translated from Aramaic into Greek.
Copy of the letter which was written by King Abgar to Jesus, and sent to Him by the hand of Hananias, the Tabularius, to Jerusalem
"Abgar the Black, sovereign of the country, to Jesus, the good Saviour, who has appeared in the country of Jerusalem: Peace. I have heard about Thee, and about the healing which is wrought by Thy hands without drugs and roots. For, as it is reported, Thou makest the blind to see, and the lame to walk; and Thou cleansest the lepers, and Thou castest out unclean spirits and demons, and Thou healest those who are tormented with lingering diseases, and Thou raisest the dead. And when I heard all these things about Thee, I settled in my mind one of two things: either that Thou art God, who hast come down from heaven, and doest these things or that Thou art the Son of God, and doest these things. On this account, therefore, I have written to beg of Thee that Thou wouldest weary Thyself to come to me, and heal this disease which I have. For I have also heard that the Jews murmur against Thee, and wish to do Thee harm. But I have a city, small and beautiful, which is sufficient for two."
Copy of those things which were written by Jesus by the hand of Hananias, the Tabularius, to Abgar, sovereign of the country:--
"Blessed is he that hath believed in Me, not having seen Me. For it is written concerning Me, that those who see Me will not believe in Me, and that those will believe who have not seen Me, and will be saved. But touching that which thou hast written to Me, that I should come to thee--it is meet that I should finish here all that for the sake of which I have been sent and, after I have finished it, then I shall be taken up to Him that sent Me; and, when I have been taken up, I will send to thee one of My disciples, that he may heal thy disease, and give salvation to thee and to those who are with thee."
To these letters, moreover, is appended the following also in the Aramaic tongue:--
"After Jesus was ascended, Judas Thomas sent to him Thaddeus the Apostle, one of the Seventy. And, when he was come, he lodged with Tobias, son of Tobias. And, when the news about him was heard, they made it known to Abgar: "The Apostle of Jesus is come hither, as He sent thee word." Thaddeus, moreover, began to heal every disease and sickness by the power of God, so that all men were amazed. And, when Abgar heard the great and marvellous cures which he wrought, he bethought himself that he was the person about whom Jesus had sent him word and said to him: When I have been taken up, I will send to thee one of My disciples, that he may heal thy disease. So he sent and called Tobias, with whom he was lodging, and said to him: I have heard that a mighty man has come, and has entered in and taken up his lodging in thy house: bring him up, therefore, to me. And when Tobias came to Thaddeus he said to him: Abgar the king has sent and called me, and commanded me to bring thee up to him, that thou mayest heal him. And Thaddeus said: I will go up, because to him have I been sent with power. Tobias therefore rose up early the next day, and took Thaddeus, and came to Abgar.
"Now, when they were come up, his princes happened to be standing there. And immediately, as he was entering in, a great vision appeared to Abgar on the countenance of Thaddeus the Apostle. And, when Abgar saw Thaddeus, he prostrated himself before him. And astonishment seized upon all who were standing there: for they had not themselves seen that vision, which appeared to Abgar alone. And he proceeded to ask Thaddeus: Art thou in truth the disciple of Jesus the Son of God, who said to me, I will send to thee one of My disciples, that he may heal thee and give thee salvation? And Thaddeus answered and said: Because thou hast mightily believed on Him that sent me, therefore have I been sent to thee; and again, if thou shalt believe on Him, thou shalt have the requests of thy heart. And Abgar said to him: In such wise have I believed on Him, that I have even desired to take an army and extirpate those Jews who crucified Him; were it not that I was restrained by reason of the dominion of the Romans. And Thaddeus said: Our Lord has fulfilled the will of His Father; and, having fulfilled it, has been taken up to His Father. Abgar said to him: I too have believed in Him and in His Father. And Thaddeus said: Therefore do I lay my hand upon thee in His name. And when he had done this, immediately he was healed of his sickness and of the disease which he had. And Abgar marveled, because, like as he had heard concerning Jesus, so he saw in deeds by the hand of Thaddeus His disciple: since without drugs and roots he healed him; and not him only, but also Abdu, son of Abdu, who had the gout: for he too went in, and fell at his feet, and when he prayed over him he was healed. And many other people of their city did he heal, and he did great works, and preached the word of God.
"After these things Abgar said to him: Thou, Thaddeus, doest these things by the power of God; we also marvel at them. But in addition to all these things I beg of thee to relate to me the story about the coming of Christ, and in what manner it was; and about His power, and by what power He wrought those things of which I have heard.
"And Thaddeus said: For the present I will be silent; but, because I have been sent to preach the word of God, assemble me tomorrow all the people of thy city, and I will preach before them, and sow amongst them the word of life; and will tell them about the coming of Christ, how it took place; and about His mission for what purpose he was sent by His Father; and about His power and His deeds, and about the mysteries which He spake in the world, and by what power He wrought these things, and about His new preaching, and about His abasement and His humiliation, and how He humbled and emptied and abased Himself, and was crucified, and descended to Hades, and broke through the enclosure which had never been broken through before, and raised up the dead, and descended alone, and ascended with a great multitude to His Father.
"Abgar, therefore, commanded that in the morning all the people of his city should assemble, and hear the preaching of Thaddeus. And afterwards he commanded gold and silver to be given to him; but he received it not, and said: If we have forsaken that which was our own, how shall we accept that of others?"
Ancient Syriac Documents, Extracts from Various Books
Concerning Abgar the King and Addaeus the Apostle
I. Of the Blessed Addaeus the Apostle. From His Teaching Which He Gave in Edessa Before Abgar the King and the Assembly of the City.
AND, when He had entered the sepulchre, He was raised to life again, and came forth from the sepulchre with many. And those who were guarding the sepulchre saw not how He came forth from the sepulchre; but the watchers from on high--they were the proclaimers and announcers of His resurrection. For, had He not willed, He had not died, because He is Lord of death, the exit from this life; nor, had it not pleased Him, would He have put on a body, inasmuch as He is Himself the framer of the body. For that will which led Him to stoop to be born of the Virgin, likewise caused Him further to descend to the suffering of death.--And a little after (we read): For, although His appearance was that of men, yet His power, and His knowledge, and his authority, were those of God.
II. From the Teaching of Addaeus the Apostle, Which Was Spoken in the City of Edessa.
Ye know that I said unto you, that none of the souls which go forth out of the bodies of men are under the power of death, but that they all live and continue to exist, and that there are for them mansions and an abode of rest. For the reasoning power of the soul does not cease, nor the knowledge, because it is the image of the immortal God. For it is not without perceptions, after the manner of the bodily frame, which has no perception of that corruption which has acquired dominion over it. Recompense, however, and reward it will not receive apart from its bodily form, because what it experiences belongs not to itself alone, but to the bodily form also in which it dwelt for a time. But the disobedient, who have not known God, will then repent without avail.
III. From the Epistle of Addaeus the Apostle, Which He Spake in the City of Edessa.
Give heed to this ministry which ye hold, and with fear and trembling continue ye in it, and minister every day, Minister ye not in it with neglectful habits, but with the discreetness of faith. And let not the praises of Christ cease out of your mouth, and let not any sense of weariness come over you at the season of prayers. Give heed to the verity which ye hold, and to the teaching of the truth which ye have received, and to the teaching of salvation which I commit to you. Because before the tribunal of Christ will it be required of you, when He maketh reckoning with the pastors and overseers, and when He shall take His money from the traders with the usury of what they have taught. For He is the Son of a King, and goeth to receive a kingdom, and He will return and come and make a resuscitation to life of all men.
IV. Addaeus preached at Edessa and in Mesopotamia (he was from Paneus) in the days of Abgar the king. And, when he was among the Zophenians, Severus the son of Abgar sent and slew him at Agel Hasna, as also a young man his disciple, and Narcissus. For they did not suffer that selection of the Seventy-two to be wanting, as likewise neither that of the Twelve. This man was of the Seventy-two: perhaps he was a disciple of Addaeus the Apostle.
VI. From the Departure of Marath Mary from the World, and the Birth and Childhood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Book the Second.
In the year three hundred and forty-five, in the month of the latter Tishrin, Marath Mary went out from her house, and went to the sepulchre of Christ: because every day she used to go and weep there. But the Jews immediately after the death of Christ seized the sepulchre, and heaped great stones at the door of it. And over the sepulchre and Golgotha they set guards, and commanded them that, if any one should go and pray at the sepulchre or at Golgotha, he should immediately be put to death. And the Jews took away the cross of our Lord, and those two other crosses, and that spear with which our Saviour was struck, and those nails which they drove into His hands and into His feet, and those robes of mockery in which He had been clad; and they hid them: lest, as they said, any one of the kings or of the chief persons should come and inquire concerning the putting to death of Christ.
And the guards went in and said to the priests: Mary cometh in the evening and in the morning, and prayeth there. And there was a commotion in Jerusalem on account of Marath Mary. And the priests went to the judge, and said to him: My lord, send and command Mary that she go not to pray at the sepulchre and at Golgotha. And while they were deliberating, lo! letters came from Abgar, the king of the city of Edessa, to Sabina the procurator who had been appointed by Tiberius the emperor, and as far as the river Euphrates the procurator Sabina had authority. And, because Addaeus the Apostle, one of the seventy-two Apostles, had gone down and built a church at Edessa, and had cured the disease with which Abgar the king was afflicted--for Abgar the king loved Jesus Christ, and was constantly inquiring about Him; and, when Christ was put to death and Abgar the king heard that the Jews had slain Him on the cross, he was much displeased; and Abgar arose and rode and came as far as the river Euphrates, because he wished to go up against Jerusalem and lay it waste; and, when Abgar came and was arrived at the river Euphrates, he deliberated in his mind: If I pass over, there will be enmity between me and Tiberius the emperor. And Abgar wrote letters and sent them to Sabina the procurator, and Sabina sent them to Tiberius the emperor.
In this manner did Abgar write to Tiberius the emperor:--
"From Abgar, the king of the city of Edessa. Much peace to thy Majesty, our lord Tiberius! In order that thy Majesty may not be offended with me, I have not passed over the river Euphrates: for I have been wishing to go up against Jerusalem and lay her waste, forasmuch as she has slain Christ, a skillful healer. But do thou, as a great sovereign who hast authority over all the earth and over us, send and do me judgment on the people of Jerusalem. For be it known to thy Majesty that I desire that thou wilt do me judgment on the crucifiers."
And Sabina received the letters, and sent them to Tiberius the emperor. And, when he had read them, Tiberius the emperor was greatly incensed, and he desired to destroy and slay all the Jews. And the people of Jerusalem heard it and were alarmed. And the priests went to the governor, and said to him: My lord, send and command Mary that she go not to pray at the sepulchre and Golgotha. The judge said to the priests: Go ye yourselves, and give her what command and what caution ye please.
Ancient Syriac Documents
The Teaching of Addaeus the Apostle
ADDAEUS said to him: Because thou hast thus believed, I lay my hand upon thee in the name of Him in whom thou hast thus believed. And at the very moment that he laid his hand upon him he was healed of the plague of the disease which he had for a long time. And Abgar was astonished and marveled, because, like as he had heard about Jesus, how He wrought and healed, so Addaeus also, without any medicine whatever, was healing in the name of Jesus. And Abdu also, son of Abdu, had the gout in his feet; and he also presented his feet to him, and he laid his hand upon them, and healed him, and he had the gout no more. And in all the city also he wrought great cures, and showed forth wonderful mighty-works in it.
Abgar said to him: Now that every man knoweth that by the power of Jesus Christ thou doest these miracles, and lo! we are astonished at thy deeds, I therefore entreat of thee to relate to us the story about the coming of Christ, in what manner it was, and about His glorious power, and about the miracles which we have heard that He did, which thou hast thyself seen, together with thy fellow-disciples.
Addaeus said: I will not hold my peace from declaring this; since for this very purpose was I sent hither, that I might speak to and teach every one who is willing to believe, even as thou. Assemble me tomorrow all the city, and I will sow in it the word of life by the preaching which I will address to you--about the coming of Christ, in what manner it was; and about Him that sent Him, why and how He sent Him; and about His power and His wonderful works; and about the glorious mysteries of His coming, which He spake of in the world; and about the unerring truth of His preaching; and how and for what cause He abused Himself, and humbled. His exalted Godhead by the manhood which He took, and was crucified, and descended to the place of the dead, and broke through the enclosures which had never been broken through before, and gave life to the dead by being slain Himself, and descended alone, and ascended with many to His glorious Father, with whom He had been from eternity in one exalted Godhead.
And Abgar commanded them to give to Addaeus silver and gold. Addaeus said to him: How can we receive that which is not ours. For, lo! that which was ours have we forsaken, as we were commanded by our Lord; because without purses and without scrips, bearing the cross upon our shoulders, were we commanded to preach His Gospel in the whole creation, of whose crucifixion, which was for our sakes, for the redemption of all men, the whole creation was sensible and suffered pain.
And he related before Abgar the king, and before his princes and his nobles, and before Augustin, Abgar's mother, and before Shalmath, the daughter of Meherdath, Abgar's wife, the signs of our Lord, and His wonders, and the glorious mighty-works which He did, and His divine exploits, and His ascension to His Father; and how they had received power and authority at the same time that He was received up--by which same power it was that he had healed Abgar, and Abdu son of Abdu, the second person of his kingdom; and how He informed them that He would reveal Himself at the end of the ages and at the consummation of all created things; also of the resuscitation and resurrection which is to come for all men, and the separation which will be made between the sheep and the goats, and between the faithful and those who believe not.
And he said to them: Because the gate of life is strait and the way of truth narrow, therefore are the believers of the truth few, and through unbelief is Satan's gratification. Therefore are the liars many who lead astray those that see. For, were it not that there is a good end awaiting believing men, our Lord would not have descended from Heaven, and come to be born, and to endure the suffering of death. Yet He did come, and us did He send.......of the faith which we preach, that God was crucified for all men.
And, if there be those who are not willing to agree with these our words, let them draw near to us and disclose to us what is in their mind, that, like as in the case of a disease, we may apply to their thoughts healing medicine for the cure of their ailments. For, though ye were not present at the time of Christ's suffering, yet from the sun which was darkened, and which ye saw, learn ye and understand concerning the great convulsion [earthquake] which took place at that time, when He was crucified whose Gospel has winged its way through all the earth by the signs which His disciples my fellows do in all the earth: yea, those who were Hebrews, and knew only the language of the Hebrews, in which they were born, lo! at this day are speaking in all languages, in order that those who are afar off may hear and believe, even as those who are near. For He it is that confounded the tongues of the presumptuous in this region who were before us; and He it is that teaches at this day the faith of truth and verity by us, humble and despicable men from Galilee of Palestine. For I also whom ye see am from Paneas, from the place where the river Jordan issues forth, and I was chosen, together with my fellows, to be a preacher.
For, according as my Lord commanded me, lo! I preach and publish the Gospel, and lo! His money do I cast upon the table before you, and the seed of His word do I sow in the ears of all men; and such as are willing to receive it, theirs is the good recompense of the confession of Christ; but those who are not persuaded, the dust of my feet do I shake off against them, as He commanded me.
Repent therefore, my beloved, of evil ways and of abominable deeds, and turn yourselves towards Him with a good and honest will, as He hath turned Himself towards you with the favour of His rich mercies; and be ye not as the generations of former times that have passed away, which, because they hardened their heart against the fear of God, received punishment openly, that they themselves might be chastised, and that those who come after them may tremble and be afraid. For the purpose of our Lord's coming into the world assuredly was, that He might teach us and show us that at the consummation of the creation there will be a resuscitation of all men, and that at that time their course of conduct will be portrayed in their persons, and their bodies will be volumes for the writings of justice; nor will any one be there who is unacquainted with books, because every one will read that which is written in His own book [the biography of his entire life].
Ye that have eyes, forasmuch as ye do not perceive, are yourselves also become like those who see not and hear not; and in vain do your ineffectual voices strain themselves to deaf ears. Whilst they are not to be blamed for not heating, because they are by nature deaf and dumb, yet the blame which is justly incurred falls upon you, because ye are not willing to perceive--not even that which ye see. For the dark cloud of error which overspreads your minds suffers you not to obtain the heavenly light, which is the understanding of knowledge.
Flee, then, from things made and created, as I said to you, which are only called gods in name, whilst they are not gods in their nature; and draw near to this Being, Who in His nature is God from everlasting and from eternity, and is not something made, like your idols, nor is He a creature and a work of art, like those images in which ye glory. Because, although this Being put on a body, yet is He God with His Father. For the works of creation, which trembled when He was slain and were dismayed at His suffering of death,--these bear witness that He is Himself God the Creator. For it was not on account of a man that the earth trembled [an earthquake happened], but on account of Him who established the earth upon the waters; nor was it on account of a man that the sun grew dark in the heavens, but on account of Him who made the great lights; nor Was it for a man that the just and righteous were restored to life again, but for Him Who had granted power over death from the beginning; nor was it for a man that the veil of the temple of the Jews was rent from the top to the bottom, but for Him who said to them, "Lo, your house is left desolate." For, lo! unless those who crucified Him had known that He was the Son of God, they would not have had to proclaim the desolation of their city, nor would they have brought down Woe! upon themselves. For, even if they had wished to make light of this confession, the fearful convulsions which took place at that time would not have suffered them to do so. For lo! some even of the children of the crucifiers are become at this day preachers and evangelists, along with my fellow-Apostles, in all the land of Palestine, and among the Samaritans, and in all the country of the Philistines. The idols also of paganism are despised, and the cross of Christ is honoured, and all nations and creatures confess God who became man.
If, therefore, while Jesus our Lord was on earth ye would have believed in Him that He is the Son of God, and before ye had heard the word of His preaching would have confessed Him that He is God; now that He is ascended to His Father, and ye have seen the signs and the wonders which are done in His name, and have heard with your own ears the word of His Gospel, let no one of you doubt in his mind--so that the promise of His blessing which He sent to you may be fulfilled towards you: Blessed are ye that have believed in Me, not having seen Me; and, because ye have so believed in Me, the town in which ye dwell shall be blessed, and the enemy shall not prevail against it for ever.
Turn not away, therefore, from His faith: for, lo! ye have heard and seen what things bear witness to His faith--showing that He is the adorable Son, and is the glorious God, and is the victorious King, and is the mighty Power; and through faith in Him a man is able to acquire the eyes of a true mind, and to understand that, whosoever worshippeth creatures, the wrath of justice will overtake him.
For in everything which We speak before you, according as We have received of the gift of our Lord, so speak We and teach and declare it, that ye may secure your salvation and not destroy your spirits through the error of paganism: because the heavenly light has arisen on the creation, and He it is Who chose the fathers of former times, and the righteous men, and the prophets, and spoke with them in the revelation of the Holy Spirit. For He is Himself the God of the Jews Who crucified Him; and to Him it is that the erring pagans offer worship, even while they know it not: because there is no other God in Heaven and on earth; and lo! confession ascendeth up to Him from the four quarters of the creation. Lo! therefore, your ears have heard that which was not heard by you; and lo! further, your eyes have seen that which was never seen by you.
Be not, therefore, gainsayers of that which ye have seen and heard. Put away from you the rebellious mind of your fathers, and free yourselves from the yoke of sin, which hath dominion over you in libations and in sacrifices offered before carved images; and be ye concerned for your endangered salvation, and for the unavailing support on which ye lean; and get you a new mind, that worships the Maker and not the things which are made--a mind in which is portrayed the image of verity and of truth, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; believing and being baptized in the triple and glorious names. For this is our teaching and our preaching. For the belief of the truth of Christ does not consist of many things. And those of you as are willing to be obedient to Christ are aware that I have many times repeated my words before you, in order that ye might learn and understand what ye hear.
And We Ourselves shall rejoice in this, like the husbandman [You will recall that Saint Jude had been a farmer before his call by Christ.] who rejoices in the field which is blessed; God also will be glorified by your repentance towards Him. While ye are saved hereby, we also, who give you this counsel, shall not be despoiled of the blessed reward of this work. And, because I am assured that ye are a land blessed according to the will of the Lord Christ, therefore, instead of the dust of Our feet which We were commanded to shake off against the town that would not receive Our words, I have shaken off today at the door of your ears the sayings of my lips, in which are portrayed the coming of Christ which has already been, and also that which is yet to be; and the resurrection, and the resuscitation of all men, and the separation which is to be made between the faithful and the unbelieving; and the sore punishment which is reserved for those who know not God, and the blessed promise of future joy which they shall receive who have believed in Christ and worshipped Him and His exalted Father, and have confessed Him and His divine Spirit.
And now it is meet for Us that I conclude my present discourse; and let those who have accepted the word of Christ remain with Us, and those also who are willing to join with Us in prayer; and afterwards let them go to their homes.
And Addaeus the Apostle was rejoiced to see that a great number of the population of the city stayed with him; and they were but few who did not remain at that time, while even those few not many days after accepted his words and believed in the Gospel set forth in the preaching of Christ.
And when Addaeus the Apostle had spoken these things before all the town of Edessa, and King Abgar saw that all the city rejoiced in his teaching, men and women alike, and heard them saying to him, "True and faithful is Christ who sent thee to us"--he himself also rejoiced greatly at this, giving praise to God; because, like as he had heard from Hanan, his Tabularius, about Christ, so had he seen the wonderful mighty-works which Addaeus the Apostle did in the name of Christ.
And Abgar the king also said to him: According as I sent to Christ in my letter to Him, and according as He also sent to me, so have I also received from thine own self this day; so will I believe all the days of my life, and in the selfsame things will I continue and make my boast, because I know also that there is no other power in whose name these signs and wonders are done but the power of Christ whom thou preachest in verity and in truth. And henceforth Him will I worship--I and my son Maanu, and Augustin, and Shalmath the queen. And now, wherever thou desirest, build a church, a place of meeting for those who have believed and shall believe in thy words; and, according to the command given thee by thy Lord, minister thou at the seasons with confidence; to those also who shall be with thee as teachers of this Gospel I am prepared to give large donations, in order that they may not have any other work beside the ministry; and whatsoever is required by thee for the expenses of the building I myself will give thee without any restriction, whilst thy word shall be authoritative and sovereign in this town; moreover, without the intervention of any other person do thou come into my presence as one in authority, into the palace of my royal majesty.
And when Abgar was gone down to his royal palace he rejoiced, he and his princes with him, Abdu son of Abdu, and Garmai, and Shemashgram, and Abubai, and Meherdath, together with the others their companions, at all that their eyes had seen and their ears also had heard; and in the gladness of their heart they too began to praise God for having turned their mind towards Him, renouncing the paganism in which they had lived, and confessing the Gospel of Christ. And when Addaeus had built a church they proceeded to offer in it vows and oblations, they and the people of the city; and there they continued to present their praises all the days of their life.
And Avida and Barcalba, who were chief men and rulers, and wore the royal headband, drew near to Addaeus, and asked him about the matter of Christ, requesting that he would tell them how He, though He was God, appeared to them as a man: And how, said they, were ye able to look upon Him? And he proceeded to satisfy them all about this, about all that their eyes had seen and about whatsoever their ears had heard from him. Moreover, everything that the prophets had spoken concerning Him he repeated before them, and they received his words gladly and with faith, and there was not a man that withstood him; for the glorious deeds which he did suffered not any man to withstand him.
Shavida, moreover, and Ebednebu, chiefs of the priests of this town, together with Piroz and Dilsu their companions, when they had seen the signs which he did, ran and threw down the altars on which they were accustomed to sacrifice before Nebu and Bel, their gods, except the great altar which was in the middle of the town; and they cried out and said: Verily this is the disciple of that eminent and glorious Master, concerning whom we have heard all that He did in the country of Palestine. And all those who believed in Christ did Addaeus receive, and baptized them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. And those who used to worship stones and stocks sat at his feet, recovered from the madness of paganism wherewith they had been afflicted. Jews also, traders in fine raiment, who were familiar with the law and the prophets--they too were persuaded, and became disciples, and confessed Christ that He is the Son of the living God.
But neither did King Abgar nor yet the Apostle Addaeus compel any man by force to believe in Christ, because without the force of man the force of the signs compelled many to believe in Him. And with affection did they receive His doctrine--all this country of Mesopotamia, and all the regions round about it.
Aggaeus, moreover, who made the silks and headbands of the king, and Palut, and Barshelama, and Barsamya, together with the others their companions, clave to Addaeus the Apostle; and he received them, and associated them with him in the ministry, their business being to read in the Old Testament and the New, and in the prophets, and in the Acts of the Apostles, and to meditate upon them daily; strictly charging them to let their bodies be pure and their persons holy, as is becoming in men who stand before the Altar of God. "And be ye," said he, "far removed from false swearing and from wicked homicide, and from dishonest testimony, which is connected with adultery; and from magic arts, for which there is no mercy, and from sooth-saying, and divination, and fortune-tellers; and from fate and nativities, of which the deluded Chaldeans make their boast; and from the stars, and the signs of the Zodiac, in which the foolish put their trust. And put far from you unjust partiality, and bribes, and presents, through which the innocent are pronounced guilty. And along with this ministry, to which ye have been called, see that ye have no other work besides: for the Lord is the work of your ministry all the days of your life. And be ye diligent to give the seal of baptism. And be not fond of the gains of this world. And hear yea cause with justice and with truth. And be ye not a stumbling-block to the blind, lest through you should be blasphemed the name of Him who opened the eyes of the blind, according as we have seen. Let all, therefore, who see you perceive that ye yourselves are in harmony with whatsoever ye preach and teach."
And they ministered with him in the church which Addaeus had built at the word and command of Abgar the king, being furnished with supplies by the king and his nobles, partly for the house of God, and partly for the supply of the poor. Moreover, much people day by day assembled and came to the prayers of the service, and to the reading of the Old Testament, and the New of the Diatessaron.
[N.B. The Diatessaron was a Syriac harmony of the four Gospels, drawn up by Tatian in about 170 A.D., called the “Gospel of the Mixed” because the fur Gospels were combined into one continuous narrative. It had great popularity and was practically the only text used in Syria during the 3rd and 4th Centuries.]
They also believed in the restoration of the dead, and buried their departed in the hope of resuscitation. The festivals of the Church they also observed in their seasons, and were assiduous every day in the vigils of the Church. And they made visits of almsgiving, to the sick and to those that were whole, according to the instruction of Addaeus to them. In the environs, too, of the city churches were built, and many received from him ordination to the Priesthood. So that even people of the East, in the guise of merchants, passed over into the territory of the Romans, that they might see the signs which Addaeus did. And such as became disciples received from him ordination to the Priesthood, and in their own country of the Assyrians they instructed the people of their nation, and erected houses of prayer there in secret, by reason of the danger from those who worshipped fire and paid reverence to water.
Moreover, Narses, the king of the Assyrians, when he heard of those same things which Addaeus the apostle had done, sent a message to Abgar the king: Either despatch to me the man who doeth these signs before thee, that I may see him and hear his word, or send me an account of all that thou hast seen him do in thy own town. And Abgar wrote to Narses, and related to him the whole story of the deeds of Addaeus from the beginning to the end; and he left nothing which he did not write to him. And, when Narses heard those things which were written to him, he was astonished and amazed.
Abgar the king, moreover, because he was not able to pass over into the territory of the Romans, and go to Palestine and slay the Jews for having crucified Christ, wrote a letter and sent it to Tiberius Caesar, writing in it thus:--
King Abgar to our Lord Tiberius Caesar: Although I know that nothing is hidden from thy Majesty, I write to inform thy dread and mighty Sovereignty that the Jews who are under thy dominion and dwell in the country of Palestine have assembled themselves together and crucified Christ, without any fault worthy of death, after He had done before them signs and wonders, and had shown them powerful mighty-works, so that He even raised the dead to life for them; and at the time that they crucified Him the sun became darkened and the earth also quaked, and all created things trembled and quaked, and, as if of themselves, at this deed the whole creation and the inhabitants of the creation shrank away. And now thy Majesty knoweth what it is meet for thee to command concerning the people of the Jews who have done these things.
And Tiberius Caesar wrote and sent to King Abgar; and thus did he write to him:--
The letter of thy Fidelity towards me I have received, and it hath been read before me. Concerning what the Jews have dared to do in the matter of the cross, Pilate the governor also has written and informed Aulbinus my proconsul concerning these selfsame things of which thou hast written to me. But, because a war with the people of Spain, who have rebelled against me, is on foot at this time, on this account I have not been able to avenge this matter; but I am prepared, when I shall have leisure, to issue a command according to law against the Jews, who act not according to law. And on this account, as regards Pilate also, who was appointed by me governor there--I have sent another in his stead, and dismissed him in disgrace, because he departed from the law, and did the will of the Jews, and for the gratification of the Jews crucified Christ, who, according to what I hear concerning Him, instead of suffering the cross of death, deserved to be honoured and worshipped by them: and more especially because with their own eyes they saw everything that He did. Yet thou, in accordance with thy fidelity towards me, and the faithful covenant entered into by thyself and by thy fathers, hast done well in writing to me thus.
And Abgar the king received Aristides, who had been sent by Tiberius Caesar to him; and in reply he sent him back with presents of honour suitable for him who had sent him to him.
And from Edessa he went to Thicuntha, where Claudius, the second from the emperor, was; and from thence, again, he went to Attica, where Tiberius Caesar was: Caius, moreover, was guarding the regions round about Caesar. And Aristides himself also related before Tiberius concerning the mighty-works which Addaeus had done before Abgar the king. And when he had leisure from the war he sent and put to death some of the chief men of the Jews who were in Palestine. And, when Abgar the king heard of this, he rejoiced greatly that the Jews had received punishment, as it was right.
And some years after Addaeus the Apostle had built the church in Edessa, and had furnished it with everything that was suitable for it, and had made disciples of a great number of the population of the city, he further built churches in the villages also--both those which were at a distance and those which were near, and finished and adorned them, and appointed in them deacons and elders, and instructed in them those who should read the Scriptures, and taught the ordinances and the ministry without and within.
After all these things he fell ill of the sickness of which he departed from this world. And he called for Aggaeus before the whole assembly of the church, and bade him draw near, and made him Guide and Ruler [i.e. a Bishop] in his stead. And Palut, who was a Deacon, he made elder [a Priest]; and Abshelama, who was a scribe, he made Deacon. And, the nobles and chief men being assembled, and standing near him--Barcalba son of Zati, and Maryhab son of Barshemash, and Senac son of Avida, and Piroz son of Patric, together with the rest of their companions--Addaeus the Apostle said to them:--
"Ye know and are witness, all of you who hear me, that, according to all that I have preached to you and taught you and ye have heard from me, even so have I behaved myself in the midst of you, and ye have seen it in deeds also: because our Lord thus charged us, that, whatsoever we preach in words before the people, we should practise it in deeds before all men. And, according to the ordinances and laws which were appointed by the disciples in Jerusalem, and by which my fellow-Apostles also guided their conduct, so also do ye--turn not aside from them, nor diminish aught from them: even as I also am guided by them amongst you, and have not turned aside from them to the right hand or to the left, lest I should become estranged from the promised salvation which is reserved for such as are guided by them.
"Give heed, therefore, to this ministry which ye hold, and with fear and trembling continue in it, and minister every day. Minister not in it with neglectful habits, but with the discreetness of faith; and let not the praises of Christ cease out of your mouth, nor let weariness of prayer at the stated times come upon you. Give heed to the verity which ye hold, and to the teaching of the truth which ye have received, and to the inheritance of salvation which I commit to you: because before the tribunal of Christ will ye have to give an account of it, when He maketh reckoning with the shepherds and overseers, and when He taketh His money from the traders with the addition of the gains. For He is the Son of a King, and goeth to receive a kingdom and return; and He will come and make a resuscitation to life for all men, and then will He sit upon the throne of His righteousness, and judge the dead and the living, as He said to us.
"Let not the secret eye of your minds be closed by pride, lest your stumbling-blocks be many in the way in which there are no stumbling-blocks, but a hateful wandering in its paths. Seek ye those that are lost, and direct those that go astray, and rejoice in those that are found; bind up the bruised, and watch over the fatlings: because at your hands will the sheep of Christ be required. Look ye not for the honour that passeth away: for the shepherd that looketh to receive honour from his flock--sadly, sadly stands his flock with respect to him. Let your concern be great for the young lambs, whose angels behold the face of the Father who is unseen. And be ye not stones of stumbling before the blind, but clearers of the way and the paths in a rugged country, among the Jews the crucifiers, and the deluded pagans: for with these two parties have ye to fight, in order that ye may show the truth of the faith which ye hold; and, though ye be silent, your modest and decorous appearance will fight for you against those who hate truth and love falsehood.
"Buffet not the poor in the presence of the rich: for scourge grievous enough for them is their poverty.
"Be not beguiled by the hateful devices of Satan, test ye be stripped naked of the faith which ye have put on." ...
"And with the Jews, the crucifiers, we will have no fellowship. And this inheritance which we have received from thee we will not let go, but in that will we depart out of this world; and on the day of our Lord, before the judgment-seat of His righteousness, there will He restore to us this inheritance, even as thou hast told us."
And, when these things had been spoken, Abgar the king rose up, he and his chief men and his nobles, and he went to his palace, all of them being distressed for him because he was dying. And he sent to him noble and excellent apparel, that he might be buried in it. And, when Addaeus saw it, he sent to him, saying: In my lifetime I have not taken anything from thee, nor will I now at my death take anything from thee, nor will I frustrate the word of Christ which He spake to us: Accept not anything from any man, and possess not anything in this world.
And three days more after these things had been spoken by Addaeus the Apostle, and he had heard and received the testimony concerning the teaching set forth in their preaching from those engaged with him in the ministry, in the presence of all the nobles he departed out of this world. And that day was the fifth of the week, and the fourteenth of the month Iyar, nearly answering to May. And the whole city was in great mourning and bitter anguish for him. Nor was it the Christians only that were distressed for him, but the Jews also, and the pagans, who were in this same town. But Abgar the king was distressed for him more than any one, he and the princes of his kingdom. And in the sad ness of his soul he despised and laid aside the magnificence of his kingly state on that day, and with tears mingled with moans he bewailed him with all men. And all the people of the city that saw him were amazed to see how greatly he suffered on his account. And with great and surpassing pomp he bore him, and buried him like one of the princes when he dies; and he laid him in a grand sepulchre adorned with sculpture wrought by the fingers--that in which were laid those of the house of Ariu, the ancestors of Abgar the king: there he laid him sorrowfully, with sadness and great distress. And all the people of the church went there from time to time and prayed fervently; and they kept up the remembrance of his departure from year to year, according to the command and direction which had been received by them from Addaeus the Apostle, and according to the word of Aggaeus, who himself became Guide and Ruler, and the successor of his seat after him, by the ordination to the priesthood which he had received from him in the presence of all men.
He too, with the same ordination which he had received from him, made Priests and Guides in the whole of this country of Mesopotamia. For they also, in like manner as Addaeus the apostle, held fast his word, and listened to and received it, as good and faithful successors of the apostle of the adorable Christ. But silver and gold he took not from any man, nor did the gifts of the princes come near him: for, instead of receiving gold and silver, he himself enriched the Church of Christ with the souls of believers.
Moreover, as regards the entire state of the men and the women, they were chaste and circumspect, and holy and pure: for they lived like anchorites and chastely, without spot--in circumspect watchfulness touching the ministry, in their sympathy toward the poor, in their visitations to the sick: for their footsteps were fraught with praise from those who saw them, and their conduct was arrayed in commendation from strangers--so that even the Priests of the house of Nebu and Bel divided the honour with them at all times, by reason of their dignified aspect, their truthful words, their frankness of speech arising from their noble nature, which was neither subservient through covetousness nor in bondage under the fear of blame. For there was no one who saw them that did not run to meet them, that he might salute them respectfully, because the very sight of them shed peace upon the beholden: for just like a net were their words of gentleness spread over the contumacious, and they entered within the fold of truth and verity. For there was no man who saw them that was ashamed of them, because they did nothing that was not accordant with rectitude and propriety. And in consequence of these things their bearing was fearless as they published their teaching to all men. For, whatsoever they said to others and enjoined on them, they themselves exhibited in practice in their own persons; and the hearers, who saw that their actions went along with their words, without much persuasion became their disciples, and confessed the King Christ, praising God for having turned them towards Him.
And some years after the death of Abgar the king, there arose one of his contumacious sons, who was not favourable to peace; and he sent word to Aggaeus, as he was sitting in the church: Make me a headband of gold, such as thou usedst to make for my fathers in former times. Aggaeus sent to him: I will not give up the ministry of Christ, which was committed to me by the disciple of Christ, and make a headband of wickedness. And, when he saw that he did not comply, he sent and brake his legs as he was sitting in the church expounding. And as he was dying he adjured Palut and Abshelama: In this house, for whose truth's sake, lo! I am dying, lay me and bury me. And, even as he had adjured them, so did they lay him--inside the middle door of the church, between the men and the women. And there was great and bitter mourning in all the church, and in all the city--over and above the anguish and the mourning which there had been within the church, such as had been the mourning when Addaeus the Apostle himself died.
And, in consequence of his dying suddenly and quickly at the breaking of his legs, he was not able to lay his hand upon Palut. Palut went to Antioch, and received ordination to the Priesthood from Serapion bishop of Antioch; by which Serapion himself also ordination had been received from Zephyrinus Bishop of the city of Rome, in the succession of the ordination to the Priesthood from Simon Cephas, who had received it from our Lord, and was Bishop there in Rome twenty-five years in the days of the Caesar who reigned there thirteen years.
And, according to the custom which exists in the kingdom of Abgar the king, and in all kingdoms, that whatsoever the king commands and whatsoever is spoken in his presence is committed to writing and deposited among the records, so also did Labubna, son of Senac, son of Ebedshaddai, the king's scribe, write these things also relating to Addaeus the apostle from the beginning to the end, whilst Hanan also the Tabularius, a sharir of the kings, set-to his hand in witness, and deposited the writing among the records of the kings, where the ordinances and laws are deposited, and where the contracts of the buyers and sellers are kept with care, without any negligence whatever.
Here endeth the teaching of Addaeus the Apostle, which he proclaimed in Edessa, the faithful city of Abgar, the faithful king.
Jude Thaddeus Becomes a Saint
“Jude, who is also called Lebbaeus, preached. to the people of Edessa, and to all Mesopotamia, and fell asleep [died] at Berytus, and was buried there” (Hippolytus of Rome [born ? A.D. - died 236 A.D.], ON THE TWELVE APOSTLES WHERE EACH OF THEM PREACHED, AND WHERE HE MET HIS END”, # 10).
“In Persia, the birthday of the Blessed Apostles Simon the Canaanite and Thaddeus, who is also called Jude. Simon preached the Gospel in Egypt, Thaddeus in Mesopotamia. Afterwards, entering Persia together, they converted to Christ a numberless multitude of the inhabitants, then underwent martyrdom” (ROMAN MARTYROLOGY, The Twenty-Eighth Day of October).
The reason why pictures and statues of Saint Jude Thaddeus depict him holding a club is that according to an ancient oral tradition he was killed with a club for the Catholic Faith, thereby becoming a Holy Martyr of the Catholic Church.
Saint Jude Thaddeus is also depicted holding a cloth on which the face of Christ is imprinted because both an ancient and oral tradition claim that Christ gave Saint Jude Thaddeus a cloth with His image on it and then later sent him to King Abgar of Edessa in Syria to cure him of his incurable disease when the King saw this image of the Holy Face of Christ and when Saint Jude Thaddeus laid his hands upon the head of King Abgar. This resulted in the holy Apostle curing many other people in that city and then preaching the Gospel to them.
Devotion to Saint Jude Thaddeus
After the martyrdom of Saint Jude Thaddeus and his burial, many pilgrims came to pray at his grave. Many of these people had known him and had talked with him when he walked among them, performing miracles in the Holy Name of Jesus. So it was only natural that the people who had known him when he was alive, whom he had helped in various ways, would come to his grave to pray to this Holy Apostle for some of their new needs or problems. This early devotion to Saint Jude Thaddeus has that special quality of intimacy which it seems has not been lost down through the centuries..
Just as appeals to Saint Jude were made concerning personal matters, so also the spread of devotion to him followed much the same pattern. And the more people who were cured of the illnesses through his intercession, the more his reputation as a miracle-worker spread by word of mouth. People whom Saint Jude had helped, whether with a physical cure, or in getting a job, or finding a marriage mate, or the birth of a child, or numbers of other issues and problems, would be very excited about how powerful the intercession of Saint Jude is before the Throne of God! Most likely, just as today, many who got results from Saint Jude would have suggested that their relatives and friends, who also had similar problems, should also do what they did! These testimonials helped to spread and to popularize devotion to Saint Jude.
Another distinctive feature of devotion to Saint Jude has been the constancy with which his clients have thanked him for the favors they have received from him. It seems that once people are introduced to Saint Jude, they almost immediately became very friendly, and the friendship endures, for both are pleased with the relationship. The people are pleased with Saint Jude's plentiful help, and in his obvious care and concern about them, especially in what, humanly speaking, seems to be impossible, or at least very difficult situations, and Saint Jude, with the sincere gratitude the people give to him, especially when their gratitude is made public by way of their public testimonials! Such a friendship, once it is sealed, is seldom, if ever, broken!
We have been given to understand that the current wave of popular devotion to Saint Jude Thaddeus in the United States began in Chicago, Illinois in 1929, during the desolate days of the horrible depression. The story goes that a parish Priest found a leaflet which had been left in a pew of his church one day. This leaflet, with a Novena to Saint Jude, explained how he is the Patron Saint of the Impossible. The Priest began public Novenas to Saint Jude in his church. Soon, as the people who went to these Novenas began to get their Novena petitions answered, more people began to come to these Novenas. Soon there were thousands and thousands of people who participated in these Novenas, even thousands who did not live in Chicago, or the Chicago area, people who lived in other cities and towns in Illinois and even in other states around the U.S.
The continual growth of devotion to Saint Jude today simply indicates that its full stature has not yet been reached, and maybe never will be reached, as Saint Jude continues to help both his old friends and brand-new friends!
For the last few years, more and more people have been discovering the Shrine of Saint Jude on the Internet at the Shrine of Saint Jude Web Site, URL: http://www.ivic.net/~stjude/ the place where you are now reading this little biography of Saint Jude Thaddeus and his wife Mary.
The loyal friends of Saint Jude have not only recognized him as an Apostle and first cousin of our Lord, but they have also acknowledged him as the special patron and advocate in all their desperate and seemingly hopeless/impossible problems. Saint Jude has earned such recognition the old-fashioned way, here in the United States, since at least 1929, he has earned it!
Saint Jude has returned this well-placed confidence and trust so abundantly through his intercession with the Most Holy Trinity, that its seems to Us a continual “shower of graces” descends upon his faithful friends. Saint Jude Thaddeus has certainly helped Us many, many times over the years.
We can personally remember that as far back as the 1940's how people told Us stories of how Saint Jude helped them in what seemed to be very difficult, and sometimes almost tragic, situations which were often very difficult or even appeared to be hopeless and otherwise impossible! We have personally been recommending Saint Jude to people since the 1940's! And the people We recommended have been so grateful, especially to Saint Jude, but have even thanked Us for Our recommendation. We can do no better than continue to recommend Saint Jude Thaddeus to everyone, especially do We highly encourage people to make or have made the nine-day Novena to Saint Jude! We personally began making these nine-day Novenas to Saint Jude in the 1940's and today We still make them on an on-going basis because they work and because every new week brings with it new demands on Our ministry and apostolates!
Today, where you are at right now as you read this, at this Shrine of Saint Jude on the Internet, there is a Testimonials page which, We understand, contains only some of the many, many private testimonials which are received! But only some of those people, for whatever reason(s), decide to make their testimonials public.
We can think of no better way to conclude this little Biography of Saint Jude Thaddeus and his wife, Mary, that by recommending that all of you discover for yourselves just how powerful Saint Jude really is by making or having the Shrine of Saint Jude make for you, a nine-day Novena to him!
Saint Jude, Patron Saint of the Impossible, intercede for all of us!
We are keenly aware of the fact that some people may want to take scandal at one, or perhaps several, of the historical facts or of Our commentaries on certain historical facts or passages of Scripture or of the Fathers of the Catholic Church. We receive solace regarding this situation knowing in advance that the Perfect Teacher teaches that "If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember My word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My Name's sake: because they know not Him who sent Me (John 15:18-21). Therefore, it is only logical that We, too, can expect what Christ received from the scandal-takers, of whom it is written that "these likewise are they that are sown on the stony ground: who when they have heard the Word, immediately recieve it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but are only for a time: and then when tribulation and persecution ariseth for the Word they are presently scandalized" (Mark 4:16-17), namely:
"The Jews therefore murmured at Him [Christ], because He had said: I am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven. And they said: Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then saith He, I came down from Heaven? Jesus therefore answered, and said to them: Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except the Father, Who hath sent Me, draw him; and I will raise him up in the last day. It is written in the prophets: And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father; but he who is of God, he hath seen the Father. Amen, amen I say unto you: He that believeth in Me, hath everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the Bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die. I am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is My flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed: and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. This is the Bread that came down from Heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this Bread, shall live for ever. These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum. Many therefore of His Disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it? But Jesus, knowing in Himself, that His Disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you? If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray Him. And He said: Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to Me, unless it be given him by My Father. After this many of His Disciples went back; and walked no more with Him. Then Jesus said to the Twelve [Apostles]: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God" (John 6:41-69; emphasis added).
So, then, in the imitation of Christ, We, too must ask of some of the things We have quoted or written above, "Doth this scandalize you?" and, "Will you also go away?"
We must be prepared to loose everyone, rather than to capitulate Our duty and responsibility to speak the Truth. We keep in mind these words of wisdom: "Do not be one of those timorous physicians who like their tranquility more than the saving of the sick...Even though Herodias should dance before Herod, should ask for John's head and should obtain it from the detestable King, John's duty is to cry out: NON LICET!" [It is not permitted because it is not lawful!] (Ivo of Chartres, LETTER [# 24] to Bishop Hugh of Lyons, October, 1094 A.D.)
Truth and the Genuine Apostolic Tradition
We are mindful of Our duty for saving the spiritually sick, just as was the saintly Pius X, who, concerning the subject of his duty and responsibility as a Bishop, told his Mother:
"Mother, you do not realize what it means to be a Bishop. I shall lose my soul if I neglect my duty" (Pius X, Giuseppe Sarto [Tuesday, August 4, 1903 - Thursday, August 20, 1914], to his Mother upon his appointment as Bishop of Mantua when she congratulated him.)Part of Our duty and responsibility is to speak the truth about the genuine Apostolic Tradition, mindful of that advice from a Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church:
"Not only does he betray the truth who transgresses against the truth by openly speaking falsehood and not the truth, but he also betrays it who does not openly speak the truth, which must be openly proclaimed, or does not boldly defend it when it must be boldly defended" (St. John Chrysostom [c. 347 A.D. - 407 A.D.], Patriarch of Constantinople, Cause 11, Question 3, NOLITE).This reminds Us of the duties and responsibilities of Our Episcopal Office, especially as symbolized by the Crosier. What is the Crosier?
"Crosier, an ornamental staff in the shape of a shepherd’s crook, conferred on bishops, mitered abbots, and certain other prelates. It usually consists of a metal tube, plated with silver and gold; sometimes of elaborately carved wood, or even of pure gold and silver. The crook symbolizes that the bishop should act as a shepherd to those who may wander from his fold; the pointed lower end, that he should goad on the spiritually indifferent; and the tall shaft, that he should support the weak. The bishops always carries the crosier in the left hand with the crook turned outward towards the people, in accordance with the above symbolism; other prelates using the crosier hold it with the crook turned inwards. The popes have not used the crosier since before the 11th Century; this is supposed by some to symbolize the giving of his staff by St. Peter to one of his disciples to raise a dead person to life. As the emblem of a saint, it indicates that he was a bishop or abbot; it is especially associated in art with saints Benedict, Bernard, and Giles" (Conde B. Pallen, Ph.D., LL.D., John J. Wynne, S.J., S.T.D., et alii, THE NEW CATHOLIC DICTIONARY, 1929, Imprimatur, Patrick Cardinal Hayes, October 1, 1929, Crosier, p. 269c; emphasis added).Concerning the genuine Apostolic Tradition and Truth, holding Our Crosier, We quote these sources:
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the [Apostolic] Traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by Our epistle" (2 Thessalonians 2:14.)Pope Leo II [Thursday, August 17, 682 - Tuesday, July 3, 683] formally excommunicated pope Honorius I [Thursday, October 27, 625 - Friday, October 12, 638] for the heresy of the Monotheletes saying:
"We charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the [Apostolic] Tradition which they have received of Us" (2 Thessalonians 3:6).
"None should be allowed to call in question the belief which our fathers received from the Apostles, as if there were any doubt what this is" (St. Leo I [Saturday, September 29, 440 - Thursday, November 10, 461], LETTER to Emperor Marcian at Constantinople, Monday, June 26, 451 A.D.)
"We anathematize...Honorius [the pope], who did not enlighten this Apostolic See with the doctrine of the Apostolic Tradition, but permitted by a sacrilegious betrayal that the immaculate Faith be stained" (Giovanni Mansi [an Italian Church Historian 1738 A.D. - 1759 A.D.], SANCTORUM CONCILIORUM COLLECTIO, XI, 731, published between 1748-1817 in 6 volumes).Pope Leo XIII had this to say:
"We decide that Honorius (I) [625-638] also, who was Bishop (pope) of Old Rome, be with them [the other heretics] cast out of the Holy Church of God and be anathematized [i.e. excommunicated] with them, because We have found in his letter to Sergius that he followed his [i.e. Sergius'] opinion in all things and confirmed his pernicious [heretical] teachings" (Sixth OEcumenical Council, the Third Council of Constantinople, Session 13, Monday, March 28, 681 A.D., Formal Excommunication of Pope Honorius I [Thursday, October 27, 625 - Friday, October 12, 638].) For the record, it should be noted that in Session 16, held on Tuesday, August 9, 681, a group of Bishops, led by the Pastriarch of Constantinople, made a move to annul the anathematizing of the dead Patriarchs, Serius, Pyrrhus, Paul and Peter. If this had been accepted, it would have also saved the name of Honorius. "We do not read that the [papal] Legates welcomed the opportunity thus given. The Council voted that the sentences [of excommunication] stand, and the Legates made no objection" (Philip Hughes, THE CHURCH IN CRISIS: A History of the General Councils, 325-1870, Chapter 6 , The Third General Council of Constantinople, 680-81, p. 137).
"...We keep unchanged all the ecclesiastical traditions handed down to us, whether in writing or verbally..." (Seventh OEcumenical Council, the Second Council of Nicaea [787 A.D.], Extracts from the Acts, Decree, Found in Philippe Labbe, CONCILIORUM COLLECTIO, Tome VII, column 552, published between 1714-1715 in 11 volumes).
"For the full and accurate understanding of the Anglican Ordinal, besides what We have noted as to some of its parts, there is nothing more pertinent than to consider carefully the circumstances under which it was composed and publicly authorized. It would be tedious to enter into details, nor is it necessary to do so, as the history of that time is sufficiently eloquent as to the animus of the authors of the Ordinal against the Catholic Church; as to the abettors whom they associated with themselves from the heterodox sects; and as to the end they had in view. Being fully cognizant of the necessary connection between faith and worship, between the law of believing and the law of praying, under a pretext of returning to the primitive form, they corrupted the Liturgical Order in many ways to suit the errors of the reformers. For this reason, in the whole Ordinal not only is there no clear mention of the sacrifice, of consecration, of the priesthood (sacerdotium), and of the power of consecrating and offering sacrifice but, as we have just stated, every trace of these things which had been in such prayers of the Catholic rite as they had not entirely rejected, was deliberately removed and struck out." (Pope Leo XIII, Gioacchino Pecci [Wednesday, February 20, 1878 - Monday, July 20, 1903], Papal Bull, Apostolicae Curae, Sunday, September 13, 1896, # 30).Unfortunately, certain "churches" today have failed to tell the truth about some of these things, whether from ignorance, or deliberately. Today, everyone must be or become a lover of the Truth, or face the consequences. The Scripture proves this where it is written:
"Because they receive not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved..therefore, GOD SHALL SEND THEM THE OPERATION OF ERROR, TO BELIEVE LYING; THAT ALL MAY BE JUDGED WHO HAVE NOT BELIEVED THE TRUTH" (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11; emphasis added).This explains WHY We have adhered to the Truth found in the genuine Apostolic Tradition in writing this little biography of Saint Jude Thaddeus!
But there will be those who do not want to believe the Truth of the genuine Apostolic Tradition. To them We say:
For those who believe,
no explanation is necessary!
For those who do not believe,
no explanation is possible!
+ Jacobus Maria DeJesus, C.M.F., D.D.
Patriarcha Veteris Romani Ritus
We are reminded of what Saint Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo Regia [born in Tagaste in 354 A.D. - died in Hippo Regia in 430 A.D.], a Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church, penned so many, many centuries ago, which We apply to all of Our own writings. He wrote:
So shall we walk together in charity to Him of Whom it is said: "Seek His face at all times." I would like to join with all of my readers in a pledge before God to do this, in all my books...
If any reader then says to himself, "This is badly expressed, I can't understand it", it is my expression he is criticizing, not my faith; and it may well be that the meaning could have been made clearer. But what writer succeeds in making himself understood all the time? If however readers who feel like this can find others more expert in such matters, by all means let them put my book down and even throw it away and study the works which they find more intelligible. Still they should not expect me to keep quiet because my writings are not as intelligible as they find the others to be.
Books usually have only a limited circulation and so are not always available to everybody. It may happen then that the simpler books never find their way into some people's hands and they may have to be content with mine. The multiplication of books by different writers and in different styles, about the same faith and the same problems, is not a bad thing. It means that most people can find books to suit their varying tastes.
As for those who complain that my books are obscure without ever having made a serious attempt to master such topics, instead of viciously attacking me and telling me to stop writing, let them give themselves to prayer and study.
And if anyone says, "I understand your meaning well enough, but it's not true", I ask him to state his own position and refute mine. If he does this sincerely and without malice and will inform me of his views (if I am still alive, that is), then I shall count my efforts well rewarded. If he cannot let me know personally, then I would be delighted if others profit from his views.
If I may speak for myself, I meditate on the law of the Lord, if not all day and night, at least whenever I have a moment to spare; and I write my thoughts down, in case I should forget them. I hope God in His mercy will help never to turn my back on teachings which I believe to be true. But, if any of my convictions are wrong, He Himself will make it plain to me, either by secret warning and inspiration or by His own clear words or by the conversation of my brethren. This is my prayer and this is the undertaking which I commit into the hands of Him Who will not fail to protect what He entrusted to me and to make good His promises. (St. Augustine, DE TRINITATE, I, iii, 5).
This Document is Copyrighted © 1990 A.D. - 2014 A.D. by Jacobus Maria DeJesus, C.M.F., D.D.
Please click here for the Testimonials to St. Jude Thaddeus!
Please click here for the 9-Day Novena to Saint Jude Thaddeus.
The Shrine of Saint Jude also thanks Saint Jude Thaddeus
for all of his great blessings and miracles over the years
which it has received!!!
Thank You, Saint Jude!!!
Please Click Here for the
Holy Rosary Web Page
|Our Blessed Mother asks that all Catholics Pray her
Traditional Rosary daily.
The Rosary will really make a Powerful difference in Your Life!
“Now the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing; that you may abound in Hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13).
“Charity is patient, is kind: Charity...beareth all things, Believeth all things, Hopeth all things, endureth all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4, 7).
“Now Faith is the substance of things to be Hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not” (Hebrews 11:1).
Thank you for stopping by to visit the Shrine of Saint Jude web site. You are welcome to visit us again, as often as you like.
If you like our newly redesigned and improved web site, please share this information with others and help them to know more about how powerful Saint Jude really is and that God still works "miracles" today!
Have a Wonderful Day!
God Bless You!