Holy Apostle Jude, the Brother of the Lord

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19 June/2 July

The holy Apostle Jude, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, descended from the stock of David and Solomon and was the son of the righteous Joseph the Betrothed by his first wife.

The holy Apostle John the Theologian writes in his Gospel: For neither did his brethren believe in him (John 7:5). Hierarch Theophilact, the Archbishop of Bulgaria, explains these words thus: at the beginning of the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, the sons of Joseph, including also Jude, did not believe in His Divine essence. Tradition indicates that when the righteous Joseph the Betrothed, on having returned from Egypt, began to divide the land belonging to him among his sons, he desired to allot a part also to Christ the Saviour, Who was born supernaturally and incorruptibly of the Most Pure Virgin Mary. The brethren opposed this, and only the eldest of them, James, accepted Jesus Christ in the joint ownership of his share and for this was called the Brother of the Lord. Later, Jude believed in Christ the Saviour as the awaited Messiah, turned to Him with his whole heart and was chosen by Him to be one of His closest twelve disciples. But the Apostle Jude, remembering his sin, considered himself unworthy to be called the brother of God and in his catholic epistle names himself only the brother of James.

The holy Apostle Jude had other names also: the Evangelist Matthew calls him Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus (Matthew 10:3), the holy Evangelist Mark also calls him Thaddaeus (Mark 3:18), while in the Acts of the Holy Apostles, he is mentioned under the name of Barsabas (Acts 15:22). At that time this was the custom.

After the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Jude set out to preach the Gospel. He spread faith in Christ at first in Judaea, Galilee, Samaria and Idumaea, and afterwards in the lands of Arabia, Syria and Mesopotamia and came, finally, to the city of Edessa. Here he completed what had not been finished by his predecessor, the Apostle Thaddaeus, of the number of the seventy. Information has been preserved that the holy Apostle Jude went to Persia to preach and thence wrote his catholic epistle in the Greek tongue, in the brief words of which are contained many profound truths. It contains dogmatic teaching on the Holy Trinity, on the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, on the difference between the good and the evil angels and on the future Dread Judgment.

In the moral respect, the Apostle persuades believers to keep themselves from carnal impurity, to be correct in their duties, in prayer, faith and love, to convert the erring to the path of salvation, to preserve themselves from the teachings of heretics. The Apostle Jude teaches that faith alone in Christ is insufficient; essential also are good deeds, appropriate to Christian teaching.

The holy Apostle Jude died a martyr about the year 80 in Armenia, in the city of Arat, where he was crucified on a cross and pierced with arrows.

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