Apostle Jude the Brother of the Lord

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Commemorated on June 19

The Holy Apostle Jude, one of the twelve apostles of Christ, is
descended from King David and Solomon, and was the son of Righteous
Joseph the Betrothed (Sunday after the Nativity of the Lord) by his
first wife.

The Holy Apostle John the Theologian writes in his
Gospel, “… neither did his brethren believe in Him” (John. 7:5). Saint
Theophylact, Archbishop of Bulgaria, explains this passage. He says
that at the beginning of the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry,
Joseph’s sons, Jude among them, did not believe in His divine nature.
Tradition says that when Saint Joseph returned from Egypt, he began to
divide his possessions among his sons. He wanted to allot a share to
Christ the Savior, born miraculously and incorruptibly from the All-Pure
Virgin Mary. The brothers were opposed to this because Jesus was born
of another mother. Only James, later called “The Brother of God,”
offered to share his portion with Him.

Jude came to believe in
Christ the Savior as the awaited Messiah, and he followed Him and was
chosen as one of the twelve Apostles. Mindful of his sin, the Apostle
Jude considered himself unworthy to be called the Lord’s brother, and in
his Epistle he calls himself merely the brother of James.

The
Holy Apostle Jude also had other names: the Evangelist Matthew terms him
“Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus” (Mt. 10:3). The Holy Evangelist
Mark also calls him Thaddeus (Mark 3:18), and in the Acts of the Holy
Apostles he is called Barsabas (Acts 15: 22). This was customary at that
time.

After the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, Saint Jude
traveled about preaching the Gospel. He propagated the faith in Christ
at first in Judea, Galilee, Samaria and Idumaia, and later in the lands
of Arabia, Syria and Mesopotamia. Finally, he went to the city of
Edessa. Here he finished the work that was not completed by his
predecessor, Saint Thaddeus, Apostle of the Seventy (August 21). There
is a tradition that Saint Jude went to Persia, where he wrote his
catholic Epistle in Greek. In the Epistle much profound truth was
expressed in a few words.

Saint Jude’s Epistle speaks about the
Holy Trinity, about the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, about the
good and bad angels, and about the dread Last Judgment. The Apostle
urges believers to guard themselves against fleshly impurity, to be
diligent in prayer, faith and love, to convert the lost to the path of
salvation, and to guard themselves from the teachings of heretics. He
also says that it is not enough just to be converted to Christianity,
but faith must be demonstrated by good works. He cites the rebellious
angels and men punished by God (verse 6) to support this.

The Holy
Apostle Jude died as a martyr around the year 80 near Mt. Ararat in
Armenia, where he was crucified and pierced by arrows.

TROPARION – TONE 1

Divinely we praise you, O Jude, as a faithful witness, / Knowing you to
be the brother of Christ. / You trampled on delusion, / And so preserved
the faith. / Today as we celebrate your holy memory, / By your
intercessions we receive remission of sins.


KONTAKION – TONE 2

You were chosen as a disciple for your firmness of mind: / An unshakable
pillar of the Church of Christ, / You proclaimed His word to the
Gentiles, / Telling them to believe in one Godhead. / You were glorified
by Him, receiving the grace of healing, / Healing the ills of all who
came to you, / O most praised Apostle Jude!

SOURCE:

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