Today the Church celebrates São Simão, the Canaaneu, and São Judas Tadeu

Learn about the two apostles.

Today the Church celebrates São Simão, the Canaaneu, and São Judas Tadeu
Simon, a native of Cana, belonging to the tribe of Neftali or Zabulon, also called zealot and Canaanite, is perhaps the most unknown of the apostles. To be distinguished from São Pedro, he is called Simão, “the Canaanite” by the evangelists Mateus and Marcos. Some Christian scholars understand that this “Canaanite” may be a reference to Canaan. The Gospel of Saint Luke and the book of the Acts of the Apostles refer to him as “the zealot”: this nickname seems to indicate that Simon had belonged to the radical Jewish party that had the same name. Zealot radicals, or zealots, preached armed struggle against Roman dominators.

It is known that Simon, like all other apostles from the early days of Christianity, after Pentecost left Jerusalem preaching the Gospel without taking anything. He performed many miracles, healed the sick, lepers, and drove out evil spirits. 

Other reports speak of Simon's preaching also in Egypt, Libya and Mauritania. According to Eusébio, a famous historian, Simão was the successor of James in the Jerusalem chair, in the years of the tragic destruction of the holy city. 

An old tradition says that Simon met with the apostle Judas Tadeu in Persia and, since then, they traveled together. They traveled through the twelve provinces of the Persian Empire, leaving historical and religious knowledge as found in an ancient book of the time called “Acts of Simon and Judas”, by an unknown author. It says that on October 28, 70, there was the murder of the apostle, concerned with the eloquence of preaching that converted entire crowds. 

Judas Thaddeus was born in Cana of Galilee, in Palestine, son of Alphaeus, also called Cleophas, and Maria Cleophas, both relatives of Jesus. The father was a brother of São José; the mother, cousin-sister of Mary Most Holy. So Judas was Jesus' first brother and brother to James, called the Lesser, also a disciple of Jesus.

Judas Thaddeus was the Apostle who at the last supper asked Jesus: "Teacher, why do you manifest yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus replied that the true manifestation of God is reserved for those who love him and keep his word.

After the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles sought their field of evangelization and Judas Thaddeus went to Syria, Mesopotamia and Armenia. In 63 he took part in the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem, which elected Simon, brother of Judas, bishop and successor of St. James Major. From São Judas Tadeu there is an epistle, the last of the Catholic epistles written in the canon of sacred books and recognized by the Church. This Epistle, in the opinion of many, Judas addressed it to Jewish Christians (Jews converted to Christianity) in Palestine.

Tradition says that St. Judas Tadeu traveled through the twelve provinces of the Persian Empire, in which he preached the Good News of the Gospel and converted many pagans.

Indeed, what we do know is that the apostle Judas Tadeu became a martyr of the faith. His preaching and testimony were so intense that the pagans were converted. He was murdered with blows from sticks, spears and axes. Everything would have happened on October 28, 70. Nicéforo and others report that Judas died in Edessa. Others, however, say he suffered martyrdom in Persia.

Considered by Christians as the holy intercessor of impossible causes, it was from the devotion of Saint Gertrude that his fame gained strength in the Catholic world. She, in her biography, reported that Jesus advised her to invoke St. Judas Thaddeus even in the “most desperate cases”. After that, the number of devotees increased about their power to resolve causes that seem unsolved. Tradition tells that there is not a devotee who has asked for his help and has not been attended. 

The feast of São Judas Tadeu is celebrated on October 28, both in the western and eastern churches.

The remains of Saint Judas Thaddeus, kept first in the Middle East and then in France, now the bodies of Saint Simon and Saint Judas Thaddeus are believed to be in the cathedral of Saint Peter in Rome.


Source: Aleteia

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