If you are a practicing Catholic or have spent any time around Catholics, you probably know that Catholics love their saints. Catholics have long prayed that saints will take their causes before the Lord in times of great difficulty. There are even “patron saints” for specific causes.
St. Jude, one of the original twelve apostles, is the patron saint of hope and lost causes. While you may have heard his name associated with hospitals, for many people lost causes come in the shape of financial difficulty.
Here, we’ll talk more about St. Jude, as well as a special St Jude Prayer for Financial Help or to those who are dealing with financial hardship.
St. Jude was one of the twelve apostles, though little is known about him. He is scarcely mentioned in the New Testament and, while his epistle has survived, it is not included in the canonical Bible that most of us are familiar with.
The epistle does explain at least part of how St. Jude became the patron saint of hopeless causes, as the larger part of the epistle is dedicated to the early Christians, encouraging them to persevere writing,
“You, my dear friends, must use your most holy faith as your foundation and build on that, praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves within the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you eternal life. When there are some who have doubts, reassure them; when there are some to be saved from the fire, pull them out.”
St. Jude’s association with difficulty in general may explain how he came to be associated with financial hardship in particular. He’s also generally shown with a round-embossed image of Christ, which does look rather like a large coin.
The St. Jude Prayer for Financial Help
However St. Jude became associated with financial distress, there’s a special prayer, passed down by tradition, that those in dire straits are encouraged to pray.
The prayer begins with a specific prayer of intercession to St. Jude. This is then followed by the Apostle’s Creed, three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys. This sequence of prayers is then said for three consecutive days.
When and How to Pray
When Jesus gave us the “Our Father,” he did so as a template for how we ought to pray (Mat. Ch. 6; Lk. Ch. 11). The line “give us this day our daily bread” is encouraged us to pray to the Lord for what we need – not for everything our hearts desire.
Similarly, the St. Jude prayer for financial help should be reserved for serious situations, like when you are struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table – not for when you want a new car or an upgraded cell phone.
The concepts of prayer through saints and having patron saints that we can turn to in times of need is one of the most beautiful and meaningful parts of the Catholic faith, but it is tragically trivialized by people treating prayer to the saints like wishes to fairies.
Not only does this distort the meaning of these beautiful traditions, it also sets one up for disappointment. Prayer has a way of giving us what the Lord knows we need – not what we think we need.
A Tool of Hope
St. Jude is famously the patron saint of lost causes. This doesn’t make him a figure of despair – it makes him a figure of hope. Similarly, his prayer is one that we can turn to when it seems that we can’t make ends meet on our own.