Today is the feast day of St. Simon the Zealot and St. Jude, sometimes referred to as the “evangelizing team”. Some theologians think that Simon and Jude went together as missionaries to Armenia and Persia and were martyred there in the city of Suanir in the year 47. If this is true, it explains, to some extent, our lack of historical information on them and also why they are usually put together. Evangelize has become such a dirty word to me that it is tough for me not to judge these disciples who lived thousands of years ago. When I think of evangelism I am actually thinking of proselytizing but I am not sure how to change my thoughts when evangelism is the term people use.
So when I think of these two saints evangelizing I wonder, were they preaching the Gospel through their actions and the sharing of knowledge or were they preaching that Jesus is the only way and conversion must happen immediately to keep your soul from burning for eternity? What do you think the disciples did to share the good news? How can we do the same without compromising our moral obligation to love unconditionally?
Patron: Desperate situations; forgotten causes; hospital workers; hospitals; impossible causes; lost causes; diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida.
Symbols: Bearded man holding an oar, a boat, boat hook, a club, an axe or a book; nearly every image depicts him wearing a medallion with a profile of Jesus, and usually with a small flame above his head; often carries a pen or sits at a writing location to make reference to the canonical Epistle; sailboat; inverted cross; square; halbert; club; loaves and fish; long cross; knotted club; boat hook; fuller’s bat; lance; saw; flail; closed book; shield: red with sailboat with a cross on the mast.
Patron: Curriers; sawmen; sawyers; tanners.
Symbols: Boat; fish; man being sawn in two longitudinally; fish and book; oar; saw; two fishes; lance; fuller’s bat; axe; cross; saw and oar saltire; fish on a boat hood; sword; shield: red background with two oars and a hatchet.