One of the questions that a lot of people often ask during our St Jude Radiothon is:  Who was St Jude? That question then begs a follow-up:  Why is he important to the work of the St Jude Children's Research Hospital?

The answer of who he was can be length.  To summarize, St Jude Thaddaeus was a individual who lived around the year 60.  Historical accounts place him at the Last Supper where he asked Jesus why He would not manifest himself to the world after His resurrection.  St Jude is largely recognized as the patron saint of desperate situations because his words in the New Testament direct the faithful to not buckle under harsh or severe conditions.  [You can read more about St Jude Thaddaeus by clicking here.]

So how did this saint and his message come to be involved with the work of the St Jude Children's Research Hospital?

First - it should be pointed out that the hospital itself is not Catholic-affiliated.   However, it's founder Danny Thomas was a devout Catholic.  The official St Jude website includes a wonderful article about how the hospital got its start with lots of details.  In general, early in the career of Danny Thomas, he offered up a prayer  while at mass in a church in Detroit to the patron saint and included a pledge to build a shrine if his prayers were answered.  A few years passed, but Thomas was faithful to his word and in 1950 began the work of hospital.  By the late 50's, ALSAC was formed to help spearhead the organizational duties of the center.

Today, the Thomas family - along with the help of the country music and radio industry - continue the work that started way back in that church in Detroit.




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