Relic of St. Jude, the patron saint of the hopeless, will be in Kearny Dec. 11

Whenever I’ve felt lost, confused, hopeless, I often invoke the name of St. Jude and pray to him. In fact, I have a necklace with his medal that I wear everywhere I go. Certainly, my invocation of St. Jude is one of countless that likely happen on a daily basis.

Well, now, thanks to the Archdiocese of Newark and in particular, St. Stephen’s Church, of Kearny, a relic believed to be a bone from St. Jude’s arm will be making its way to Kearny in December.

The bone from the arm of St. Jude, widely revered among Catholics as the patron saint of hopeless causes, will be on public display at seven parishes within the Archdiocese of Newark — including Dec. 11 at St. Stephen’s from 1 to 10 p.m. with Mass at 7 p.m. — as part of the relic’s first tour outside Italy.

The ancient bone, encased in a centuries-old wooden vessel carved in the form of an arm bestowing a blessing, will make its initial appearance in northern New Jersey at the Church of the Assumption in Emerson on Dec. 7, following a tour of Long Island and Staten Island.

Aside from St. Stephen’s, it will also be available for public veneration St. Joseph Church in Oradell on Dec. 8; St. Helen Church in Westfield on Dec. 9; St. Leo’s Church in Elmwood Park on Dec. 10 and Our Lady of the Lake Church in Verona on Dec. 18. The veneration and Mass schedule for each site is available on the tour’s website at https://apostleoftheimpossible.com/tour-schedule.

A St. Jude medal.

“St. Jude is special to many Catholics because he’s the Apostle of the impossible — people turn to him when they most need help,” the Rev. Joseph Mancini, pastor of St. Stephen’s , who will celebrate the Mass honoring St. Jude Dec. 11, said. “But not everyone can travel to Europe to venerate his relics in person, so it’s exciting that his arm bone is visiting the archdiocese. This is a great opportunity for local Catholics to come together and grow in their faith.”

All who are suffering or know someone experiencing challenges are especially encouraged to pray before the relic because St. Jude is associated with healing and other miracles. Though visitors are restricted from physically touching the relic, they are encouraged to place personal items against the glass case surrounding the reliquary. (A limited number of items will be available for sale during the time of veneration.)

This act transforms those objects into third-class relics. Visitors also may hold pictures of loved ones against the glass to symbolically entrust them to the saint’s care.

Treasures of the Church, a Michigan-based ministry that partners with the Vatican to make relics accessible to Catholics worldwide, facilitated the bone’s trip to the U.S.

The Holy See specifically asked Treasures of the Church to provide the St. Jude relic for its latest exposition, aiming to bring healing to those still struggling in the aftermath of COVID-19. The ministry hopes the relic will bring comfort to all visitors.

“For 2,000 years, one saint has symbolized the unstoppable power of heavenly intercession,” the Rev. Carlos Martins, director of Treasures of the Church, which has brought the bone to parishes in Chicago, New York City, and many other locations since September, said. “Come and feel his transformative presence. Come and see what St. Jude has in store for you.”

St. Jude, Jesus’s first cousin, was one of the Twelve Apostles. Following Christ’s crucifixion, Jude preached the gospel throughout Mesopotamia until his martyrdom in approximately 65 A.D. Today, he is considered one of the Catholic Church’s most beloved saints, with numerous shrines and churches dedicated to him around the world.

He is particularly popular among Americans due in part to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which was created by actor Danny Thomas in gratitude for an intercession St. Jude made in his own life.

For more information on St. Jude’s U.S. relic tour, visit www.apostleoftheimpossible.com.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.