Jude Thaddeus is a popular saint around the world.
Jude was one of the twelve apostles in the list
given by St. Luke and in the Acts of the Apostles.
Jude is the saint who has been honoured for many
centuries as the Patron of Difficult Cases. When
Brother Stephen Lucas O.P. arrived Yaba on the 17th
October 1959 to begin a long missionary life among
the people in Lagos, the thought came to him to
ask St. Jude, a saint he was so familiar with, to
bless his work, his life and encourage the faithful
to support vocations to the priesthood and religious
life. It was that very month, 28th October, Feast
of St. Jude, that Brother Stephen asked five or
six newly made friends to pray with him to St. Jude
on the evening of his feast. This was the beginning
of the St. Jude Apostolate, and the Shrine of St.
Jude in Yaba.
Prayers to St. Jude were printed and recited every
evening by the faithful after the evening rosary
in the church. Father Michael Dempsey O.P., the
then parish priest encouraged this devotion. In
1960, at the request of Brother Stephen the Dominican
Shrine in Chicago sent a beautiful shrine of St.
Jude to St. Dominic's Parish. Petition slips were
printed and distributed to the parishioners and
carried into other parishes, and the devotion to
St. Jude began to spread.
In March 1961, the first Triduum of Prayer to St.
Jude was held at St. Dominic's and in October of
that year the first Solemn Novena of Masses began.
In the year 1965, the Shrine of St. Jude in Yaba
began sponsoring three novenas a year. It was years
later (1969) that we witnessed the first preached
Novena of Masses, our Novena Preacher being Father
James McHatton O.P.
The years that followed the Shrine of St. Jude graciously
grew with a mailing list of over 20,000 friends,
all joining their prayers for an increase in vocations
to the priesthood and religious life. In 1967 Archbishop
Beradine Ganton, Archbishop of Cotonou, Dahomey
(now Benin), invited the Shrine to promote St. Jude
in his Archdiocese and a year later Bishop Sarpong
of Kumasi asked that our Dominicans in Kumasi promote
St. Jude and spread devotion to him. Shrine offices
were opened in both cities.
To celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Shrine of
St. Jude in Yaba, a Triduum of Masses was celebrated
from the 26th to 28th October, 1984. Bishop Michael
Dempsey, O.P. preached and Archbishop Anthony Okogie
joined in the celebration with a beautiful good-will
message which was read to the thousand of friends
and benefactors of St. Jude on that day.
The Lord heard our prayers through the intercession
of St. Jude, Our Wonder Worker. The total number
of Dominicans from our newly formed Dominican Province
of St. Joseph the Worker number 142 priests and
Brothers, postulants, novices, simple and solemnly
professed, ordained priests and our first Nigerian
Dominican Bishop who was ordained to serve the people
of Nigeria. St. Jude will also answer your prayers
and petitions; knock and it will be opened to you.