Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus
1909 S. Ashland
Chicago, IL 60608

Dear Friend,                                                                                                   May 1999

Many pilgrims to the Shrine of St. Jude have come across the city of Chicago to venerate the precious relic of bone from the arm of St. Jude. Two or three people stop me each day and ask about the relic that we have exhibited. Iím sure others come unannounced.

At the close of our Solemn Novena to St. Jude in January we processed with the relic through the Church of St. Pius V to the Shrine of St. Jude. We placed the relic on the altar of the shrine and offered incense and the following prayer: Most holy Apostle, Saint Jude Thaddeus, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, your preaching of Godís love expressed in the life and death-rising event of Jesus honors you as the bearer of the Good News of the Gospel. Your witness to Jesus and the proclamation of the nearness of the kingdom of God was your apostolic mission.

We honor you in your intercessory power with all the saints before the throne of God. Many call upon you in difficulty and in circumstances beyond human hope. We thank you for hearing our prayers and pleading our causes. With the exposition and veneration of this precious relic we honor an ancient church tradition, knowing that this portion of your arm is not magical in power, but does serve to remind us of our continual devotion to you and particularly how the work of God was carried out by you in your apostolic journey through life. We stand in awe before God and praise God for his saints. St, Jude, pray for us and all who invoke your name.

We feel particularly blessed and honored to have such a precious relic in our possession. The relic has a long history of being in Smyrna, then in Turin, Italy, offi- cially documented in the 18th century, and given as a gift from the Italian Dominicans to our Chicago-based Dominican family. The ceremony of installation was attended by a large crowd of novena clients, a reporter from the Chicago Catholic paper, and two television stations.

Although we are still attempting to bring greater security to the relic, we invite you to come to St. Pius V Church on Ashland Avenue in Chicago to venerate this sacred relic of the Apostle St. Jude Thaddeus.

In Jesus' name,    Rev. Bede Jagoe, O.P., Director


In my last article I encouraged you to read and pray with the Bible because it is a fundamental and living source of our spirituality as Catholics.

Now I want to point out that, while it is a source of our religious beliefs, not all truths can be found in the Bible. When some people are dealing with a religious teaching they ask only one question: "Can you find it in the Bible?" If it is not there -- case closed. However there also is the tradition of the living Spirit-filled Church. Indeed, it was the church community that decided what books would make up the Bible in the first place!

Let us recall that the Bible really isnít a single book. It is a library of many books written over a period of hundreds of years. It is important to remember that many other religious writings were being produced during the same period of time. How did some writings become part of the Bible and others did not? Representatives of the church communities decided.

In the case of the Old Testament there are two main Jewish traditions: the Palestinian and the Alexandrian. In the case of the Palestinian Canon, rabbis met in the town of Jamnia, west of Jerusalem, in A.D. 70 and accepted thirty-nine books. The rabbis of the Greek-speaking Jews who lived outside Palestine met in Alexandria and accepted seven additional books (1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom, and Baruch) and some additional parts of Daniel and Esther. Jews and most Protestants choose to accept the Palestinian Canon while Catholics follow the Alexandrian Canon. But in both cases, notice that it is the communities that are making the choices.

In the case of the New Testament, the Christian Churches began to prefer some writings over others on the basis of their content, apostolic origin and the importance of the communities addressed until they were finally fixed as the New Testament Canon in the fourth century.

When we look at the history of how the Bible came to be we can understand the statement: the Church came before the Bible. In the case of the New Testament, the early Christian Churches were already functioning and out of them came the writings that were then to be the New Testament. In the case of the Old Testament, again, it was the Churches that decided to embrace the Palestinian or Alexandrian Canons as the inspired Word for their lives.

In Christ's love,
Fr. Richard de Ranitz

Father de Ranitz is a member of the Shrine of St. Jude Staff. He also gives retreats and workshops on physical, mental and spiritual health.

     Planting Our Seed     

As we continue to seek funds for Campaign Cochabamba so that our Dominican students will have a proper seminary, chapel, refectory, library, and living area as they prepare for the priesthood.

But with a recent trip to Nigeria, where I served as a missionary for 23 years, my heart turns in fondness to that country. I was privileged to preach a novena to St. Jude in Lagos, Nigeria and had the wonderful opportunity to renew old friendships and to make new friends. Fr. Jerry Stookey, O.P., Vicar Provincial, and I "team preached" the nine day novena, and many of the themes of the Gospel were put into song and celebrated in dancing. How wonderfully the Afri- can people are able to express their deep faith and love of God by gestures of dancing, drumming, clapping and singing. They unashamedly praise God with their whole being.

One of the delights of our sojourn in Nigeria was to have a priest from where I used to minister in the North of Nigeria drive down to greet me and tell me of the news of my former station, Malumfashi. When I left that area in early 1974, having served 12 years there, there were 3-4 families baptized. Now in 1999 there are 10-15 thousand baptized Catholics among them, and their first priest was ordained in 1998. Presently there are 8 seminarians from that tribe in the major seminary. How wonderfully has God brought to fruition our early mission preaching!

A word of thanks is due to you as well. Through your prayers and sacrifi- cial financial help you were very much a part of Godís plan in leading these Nigerians to the faith. Our gratitude to you is boundless, and we ask that you continue to work with the Dominicans in constant prayer and financial support as the faith continues to grow in Africa. Thank you St. Jude. St. Jude, pray for us.

Fr. Thomas Jackson, O.P., a member of the Province of St. Albert the Great, is Associate Pastor at Visitation-St. Basil Parish in Chicago. Fr. Tom entered the Dominican Order in 1987 and, after completing his preparatory studies at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, was ordained to the Priesthood in 1992. He is superior of his community and a member of the Black Dominican Preaching Team. He holds the degrees of Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology.


My husbandís cancer re-occurred, and he had to have surgery followed by six weeks of radiation. It appears he is cancer free and none of the many effects of radiation happened. Everyone was amazed that he came through it all right, even the doctors.

I made a novena to St. Jude, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and St. Anne. I asked for the willingness to be abstinent, and it has come very strong. Also, I had some serious medical tests which had been abnormal, and I was facing surgery. The results came back a week agoóthis time "normal". St. Jude helped me to get back into recovery and get my abstinence back.

St. Jude has been one of my favorite patron saints whom Iíve prayed to since I was a small child. He has helped me though so many difficult times in my life. My father who has gone through four abdominal operations has always recovered through the intercession of St. Jude. My mother had a terrible scare when the doctor told her he found something suspicious in her mammogram. Through prayer, it was not malignant. And a year ago, I had a scare myself. I had to go through many tests for colon cancer. And again through prayer, I did not have cancer. I canít tell you how many other times Iíve been helped by St. Jude. I carry my novena booklet with me at all times. The prayer card is always in my wallet.

Many people write asking us to publish their thanks. So, please tell us your story of how St. Jude has helped you. We cannot publish all those letters that just say "thank you" without giving details. (Also, we do not publish anonymous stories.) It's your story that gives others hope!

St. Jude Legacy Club

The St. Jude Legacy Club is our special way of recognizing those people who have remembered us in their will. On the 28th of each month, all the members are remembered in a Mass celebrated at the altar of St. Jude in the Vatican.

If you have remembered us in your will and we have not listed you as a member of the St. Jude Legacy Club, please let us know. If you have not yet remembered us in your will but would like to do so, please contact us for details. Our legal title is:

Dominican Fathers
Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus

1909 S. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60608-2994
(312) 226-0020

Shrine Services
Rosary, Novena Prayer, Mass

Daily Services
Monday - Friday
Saturday 10 A.M.
(No services on Sunday)

Perpetual Novena
6:30 p.m.

Solemn Novena
Monday - Saturday
6:30 p.m.

11:00 a.m. only

Come if you can --
or join in the
prayers in your home!

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