Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Flowers for St Jude

St Jude, known in Spanish as San Judas Tadeo and one of the lesser known Apostles, is well-known as a  powerful intercessor for those in dire straits –  ‘the patron of hopeless causes’.  According to David Farmer, in the Oxford Dictionary of Saints, ed.3 (1992):  ‘This patronage is said to have originated because nobody invoked him for anything since his name so closely resembled that of Judas who betrayed the Lord, consequently he favours even the most desperate situations of his clients’.

The chapel dedicated to San Judas in the church of Sta Cruz, near the Plaza El Sol, in Madrid attracts a steady stream of supplicants, ensuring that the (electric) candles in front of it are usually all alight, and that many bouquets of flowers are placed beside the statue of the saint.

It is believed that Wednesdays are the best day for getting an intercession.  Of the three people asked why this was so, two said it was an unexplained tradition (one adding that not even the priests knew why), the third said that Wednesdays were favoured because that was  the day on which saint was born.  It is further said that Wednesdays on or near the 28th of each month are considered to be particularly auspicious, as Judas was born on that day, although the month of his birth is unkown (his feast day is 28 October).

Main  and upper inset photographs taken Saturday 20 August 2022.

Main and upper inset photographs taken Saturday 20 August 2022; middle inset photograph above taken Thursday 8 June 2023, Iglesia de San Antonio Abad, Seville, Andalucia, Spain, © Carlos Bruzon; lower inset photograph taken Sunday 24 March 2024, Braga Cathedral, Portugal.

Edited 26 March 2023.