St. Jude Thaddaeus
St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Lesser, and a relative of Jesus. Ancient writers tell us that he preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. According to Eusebius, he returned to Jerusalem in the year 62 and assisted at the election of his brother, St. Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem.
He is an author of an epistle (letter) to the Churches of the East, in particular the Jewish converts, directed against the heresies of the Simonians, Nicolaites, and Gnostics. This Apostle is said to have suffered martyrdom in Armenia, which was then subject to Persia. The final conversion of the Armenian nation to Christianity did not take place until the third century A.D.
St. Jude was the one who asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He would not manifest Himself to the whole world after His resurrection. Little else is known of his life, but legend claims that he visited Beirut and Edessa.
He was beaten to death with a club, then beheaded post-mortem in 1st century Persia. His relics reside at Saint Peter’s in Rome, at Rheims, and at Toulouse, France.
Saint Jude Thaddeus is not the same person as Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Our Lord and despaired because of his great sin and lack of trust in God’s mercy.
St. Jude Thaddeus is invoked in desperate situations because his New Testament letter stresses that the faithful should persevere in the environment of harsh, difficult circumstances, just as their forefathers had done before them.
Therefore, he is the patron of desperate situations, forgotten causes, hospital workers, hospitals, impossible causes, lost causes, and the diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida. He is represented as bearded man holding an oar, a boat, boat hook, a club, an axe or a book. Nearly every image of him depicts him wearing a medallion with a profile of Jesus. He usually has a small flame above his head and he often carries a pen.
We remember him October 28 in Roman Church, and June 19 in Eastern Church.
St. Simon the Zealot
Little is known about the post-Pentecost life of St. Simon, who had been called a Zealot. He is thought to have preached in Egypt and then to have joined St. Jude in Persia. Here, he was supposedly martyred by being cut in half with a saw, a tool he is often depicted with. However, the 4th-century St. Basil the Great says he died in Edessa, peacefully.
REFLECTION FOR THE DAY
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children… Ephesians 5:1
Child development research suggests that children learn how to behave by watching, and being watched by, their parents. When an infant looks into her mother’s eyes, and the mother looks back at her and smiles, the infant learns that she is a delight to her mother, that her existence is good. When a toddler runs to his father to be comforted after he falls down, he learns to empathize when someone else is hurt. We learn how to do things when someone else has done those things for us. If our parents have not been good models, we may still turn to our divine parent to know how to love. Our ability to imitate God takes more than just acting out the behaviours we associate with a benevolent deity. It takes our trust—a trust that we are wanted, loved and held as his children.
The adventure of King Smurf first started in Spirou magazine in 1964 as Le Schtroumpfissime (cf. illustrissimo — most illustrious — a term sometimes used to flatter European monarchs of the medieval and Renaissance period). While not the second story to appear in Spirou, it was the titular story to be published in book format.
In the original French book edition from 1965, the comic contains two stories, the titular one and Schtroumphonie en Ut, a story about the frustrated efforts of a Smurf to make some acceptable music and being tricked by Gargamel into playing an enchanted musical instrument which has a disastrous effect on his fellow Smurfs.
King Smurf (original French title: Le Schtroumpfissime) is the second comic book adventure of the Smurfs, and the name of the main fictional character who assumes power in the absence of Papa Smurf. The story was written and drawn by Peyo with Yvan Delporte as co-writer.
When Papa Smurf leaves the village for a few weeks in order to get some Euphorbia leaves, which he needs to complete an herbal potion for undisclosed use, the Smurfs are left with no leader. Arguments ensue when each Smurf claims the post, and are only resolved by the decision to have a vote, though everybody intends to votes for themselves.
One unnamed Smurf uses demagogic tactics, and makes promises to almost all the Smurfs, who agree to vote for him. He puts up posters, holds a parade, makes self-praising election speeches, and offers rounds of raspberry juice. Soon, the only candidate remaining is Brainy Smurf who, as usual, simply claims that he was the only suitable Smurf since, according to himself only, “Papa Smurf always said so”.
The Smurf thus wins with 98 votes — the other two votes go to Brainy Smurf, supported by himself and Clumsy Smurf: the winning Smurf had told Clumsy Smurf to vote for Brainy Smurf, expecting him to get it wrong when it came to the actual vote.
The winning Smurf then proceeds to put on golden-coloured clothes and asks the others to refer to him as “King Smurf”. To his anger, the Smurfs laugh off his pretence. Instead he resolves to teach them their place and becomes increasingly authoritarian. The Smurfs begin to despise him as he becomes corrupted by power: King Smurf imposes a repressive regime and installs an armed troop of guards, led by Hefty Smurf, punishing all opposition. He forces the Smurfs into building him a palace. When a present from Jokey explodes on King Smurf, Jokey is promptly imprisoned as a warning.