Have you looked at your hands lately?

You may not want to because you feel they are not youthful or beautiful in your eyes, but please take a look at them.

Are your hands wearing jewelry – meaningful rings?

Do they look older to you – not as soft or wrinkle-free as they used to look?

Do you have manicured nails, or maybe simply clipped nails with your own nail clipper?

What do your hands tell you about your life story?

Are they balled up in a fist with anger more often than they are softly touching the hand of another? Do they fold in prayer?

Do they gently hold a rosary as they feel the beads slip through their fingers?

Our hands help tell the story of our lives and our loves. Hands folded into the hands of a spouse or a friend, softly touching the face of a child, proudly squeezing the hand of a loved one, and, finally, gently folded in death.

There is another hand that I would like to tell you about. It is the hand of our statue of St. Jude, stretched out in healing and in blessing for everyone who comes to him asking for help. This hand of St. Jude, Miracle-Worker, is stretched out in assistance to you, to me, and to all those who need his help and his prayer.

So many who come to our Shrine of St. Jude lower their head under his outstretched hand and feel the divine touch of his blessing.

At times, all of us have felt a deep pain or hurt in a situation with a spouse, friend, or business associate, and we have had no one to turn to. There are times in everyone’s life that we feel pulled down by the weight of our lives because of illness, fear, abuse, neglect, loneliness, or financial problems.

There is always one person you can turn to – one person who is always there for you – St. Jude, our Miracle-Worker and Friend. As we Franciscan Friars begin our Great Novena to St. Jude, we are asking you to join your prayers with our prayers.

Together, we can be a powerful source of intercessory prayer for your needs that we will place before St. Jude. Not only will your prayers be joined to ours, but you will become part of our helping community that serves God’s poor who come to our doors.

Your gift not only brings you into our prayer community, but it also helps us help feed, clothe, counsel, and console the 2 million people who come to us every year for assistance

With your help
we can provide young mothers with formula and diapers for their infants.

With your help
we can feed the hundreds who come to our breadline every morning, seven days a week, to receive a breakfast bag and coffee.

With your help
we can continue to supply groceries to hungry families who have no food of any kind.

So far, we have helped 3,500 families, but we need your help to continue.

Just as so many people who come to the Shrine of St. Jude place their heads under his outstretched hand, in spirit, place your head under the hand of the Miracle-Worker and receive his blessing, his healing and the answer to your prayer requests.

This St. Jude’s Great Spring Novena of Intentions is a unique opportunity and special time of prayer that offers you a distinctive opportunity to spend time with the God who loves you unconditionally. You will have this extraordinary prayer time united with the Friars and so many others for your specific petitions.

Send us your list of intentions with your gift for the poor and desperate whom the Franciscan Friars serve each day, and we will add all of your prayer requests to our prayer chest for St. Jude’s Great Spring Novena of Intentions. Join the Friars and the thousands of other St. Jude devotees as together we begin St. Jude’s Great Spring Novena of Intentions, and, with our prayers joined together, honor the Saint who works miracles every day!

May St. Jude bless you and pray that all your prayer needs are granted.

Fr. David Convertino, OFM
Executive Director
National Shrines of St. Anthony & St. Jude