Friday, October 26, 2007

The Collect - Saints Simon and Jude

The Collect 1549
ALMIGHTIE God, whiche hast builded the congregacion upon the foundacion of the Apostles and prophetes, Jesu Christ himselfe beyng the head corner-stone; graunte us so to bee joyned together in unitie of spirite by their doctrine, that we maye be made an holye temple acceptable to thee; throughe Jesu Christe our Lorde. Amen.

The Collect 1662
O ALMIGHTY God, who hast built thy Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner-stone; Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Brief History

October 28 is the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude in the Western Church.

Simon is usually portrayed as a middle-aged man with a saw and a book. The saw represents the method of his martyrdom. Sometimes he is shown with an oar or fish. Saint Simon was called “the Zealot” either because of his commitment to the liberation of Palestine or because of his zeal for the Jewish law. It does not necessarily mean that he belonged to the party of the Zealots. The moniker distinguishes him from Simon Peter and from Saint Simeon, the brother of Saint James the Less. Simon the Zealot appears in the tenth position in the lists of apostles found in the synoptic Gospels.

An English legend has Simon making a trip to Glastonbury and being martyred in Lincolnshire. According to Roman Catholic tradition, he traveled to Egypt and Persia and was martyred in Persia.

A letter written by Claudius to the city of Alexandria in A.D. 41 forbade Syrian Jews from moving there. “Syria” at that time included Tarsus, Paul’s hometown. This limitation imposed on Syrians may explain why Paul never choose Egypt as a mission field, but Simon the Zealot was under no such restraint.

According to Hippolytus, Simon the Zealot was the son of Clopas and became the second Bishop of Jerusalem.

Saint Jude is called “Thaddaeus” in Matthew and Mark, and in Luke he is named “Judas, son of James”. He appears in the eleventh position in the synoptic lists of the Apostles. He is portrayed with a club or an axe, and holding his epistle or holding a carpenter's rule. He was the brother of Saint James the Less and Saint Simeon. He preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Syria (ancient Turkey) and Mesopotamia. In 62 A.D. he returned to Jerusalem to help with the selection of a bishop for Jerusalem. When the new Bishop of Jerusalem was elected (Simon the Zealot?), Jude returned to his apostolic travels. According to one tradition he was martyred in Armenia around 65 A.D. Hippolytus, however, reported that Jude was called “Lebbaeus” and that he died and was buried at Berytus (Beirut, Lebanon).


Recently I taught an Adult Bible class at my church on Saint Paul. This involved many hours of research and writing. One discovery that continues to thrill me is the evidence of communication among the Apostles regarding the evangelization of the Jewish Diaspora and the Gentiles. When reading Acts one gets the impression that there was a competition between Peter and Paul, but a closer investigation reveals that the Apostles shared their experiences, ideas and methods. Where they failed to coordinate their efforts, the Holy Spirit worked all things for good so that the Church was established and strengthened throughout the ancient world. Saints Simon and Jude labored as Apostles to fit together the stones that would become the “holy temple” acceptable to God. They do not stand in the spotlight as do Peter and Paul, but their work bore good fruit and they surely deserve to be commemorated with thankful hearts.

1 comment:

Alice C. Linsley said...

BTW, the Adult Education series on Paul includes 10 lessons written from a catholic perspective. Anyone who might wish to use them or adapt them for use in parish education is welcome to do so. Simply email me and I will send them along.