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Who were Saints Simon and Jude? | A Journey in the Name of God

Saints Simon and Jude, venerated on one feast, are part of the apostolic college called by Jesus to follow him. Christians base their lives on the faith handed down by the apostles. These eyewitnesses shared Jesus’ life from his Baptism to his Ascension.


About Saints Simon and Jude

St. Simon was nicknamed Canaanite or Zealot, two terms expressing the same meaning: “zealous.” According to second-century tradition. He would have succeeded St. James the Lesser from 62 to 107, the date of his martyrdom under Traian, in governing the Jerusalem community.

His martyrdom would have occurred in Pella. Another tradition sees him crucified in Abyssinia; a saw cruelly pierces yet another.

St. Jude was nicknamed Thaddeus to distinguish him from the other Judas. His appellation means “magnanimous.” Scholars do not believe the letter of Jude that we find in the New Testament to be from our apostle. Instead, it is precisely Judas Thaddeus who, in John’s gospel (14:22-23), asks Jesus questions.

The historian Nicephorus Callistus reports a tradition that Judas evangelized Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia. Unfortunately, he died a martyr’s death in Edessa.


Saints Simon and Jude – The journey in the name of God

Saints Simon and Jude converted a lot of Persians. Before, an anti-Christian riot caused them to be arrested and led to a pagan idol temple. And the two Saints refused to deny Christ and eventually suffered martyrdom. St. Simon is often depicted with a saw. Judas Thaddeus is known as the “Saint of the Impossibilities.”

The Church commemorates the holy apostles Judas Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot on the same day, also called the Canaanite. According to several ancient sources, they suffered martyrdom together in Persia, where they met after evangelizing other regions. Saints Simon and Jude refused to deny Jesus Christ.

They gave a final sign to their persecutors, preceded by St. Jude’s words, “So that you may come to know that these idols you worship are false. Demons will come out of them and break them.” So it came to pass. And the apostles were slaughtered by the mob, stirred up by pagan ministers.


Everything you need to know about Saint Simon

Saint Simon is the evangelist nicknamed “Zealot”: before following his faith in Jesus, he probably belonged to the political-religious movement of the Zealots. For those who combined a defense of Jewish orthodoxy with rebellion against Roman rule, with some extremist drifts.

He received with the others the Holy Spirit on the great day of Pentecost and was always most faithful to his calling. Preached the divine word to the peoples of Egypt and Mauritania. Traveled to Persia together with St. Jude Thaddeus.

But, unfortunately, idolatrous priests attacked him, and by those, Simon was crucified after suffering the most atrocious torments for the holy name of Jesus Christ. Most of his relics are believed to be in St. Peter’s Church in Rome and Toulouse Cathedral.

saints simon and jude

Everything you need to know about Saint Jude

Judas Thaddeus, known as the “Saint of Impossibilities,” is the apostle who questioned Jesus about his manifestation (“Lord, how did it happen that you must manifest yourself to us and not to the world?”; Jn. 14:22) and was answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will accept him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him. He who does not love me does not keep my word.”

Since Judas’s Father, Alphaeus, was the brother of St. Joseph, Judas Thaddeus was Jesus’ cousin: in this sense, the term “brothers.” Due to the absence of Hebrew terminology that might be used to denote the many levels of kinship, this term was created by those who were in awe of the marvels that Jesus did.

Although only Greek redactions of the Gospels have come down, the original linguistic context and the fact that the word is within direct speech must be considered.


True faith in the Savior 

The Epistle of Jude, written explicitly by Thaddeus, is included in the New Testament canon. Thaddeus identifies himself as “a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,” referring to the apostle James of Alphaeus, also known as the Lesser, identified in the Synoptics. Despite only having 25 verses, the letter is significant.

Thaddeus warns against false instructors who “insult whatever they overlook” and defend immorality, particularly in sexual matters, and urges the defense of the genuine faith, “which was passed down to the saints once and for all.”

The apostle warns individuals who “defile their bodies, revile the Lord, and insult the angels” and recalls the penalty meted out to Sodom and Gomorrah for engaging in “vices against nature.” By saying, “Be merciful to those who are undecided and save them by snatching them from the fire (…).” Jesus reminds the faithful of the reality of the eschatological fight and their responsibility.


Conclusion about Saints Simon and Jude

Saints Simon and Jude, whose names are paired in the Mass canon, are remembered with a single feast. It may be that the reason was their common apostolate in Mesopotamia and Persia, where they would have been sent to preach the gospel. However, nothing historically specific is known except what we are told in the gospels about their vocation.

Simon, whom the Gospels call the Canaanite to distinguish him from Simon Peter, was a native of Cana in Galilee. He was nicknamed the “Zealot.” According to uncertain reports reported by historian Eusebius, he appears to have been James’ successor in the Jerusalem chair during the years of the tragic destruction of the holy city.

The apostle would have suffered martyrdom during the empire of Traian. Specifically in 107, at the tender age of one hundred and twenty.

Jude, “not the Iscariot,” occupies the last place in the list of apostles under the nickname Thaddeus and is identified by the canonical letter that bears his name. He worked great well with his inspired word. He opened churches and formed a community of believers in Babylon. In Persia, he suffered martyrdom gloriously, sealing his teaching with the profusion of blood.