The Nine-Thursday Mass of Saint Jude Thaddeus
What comes to your mind when you hear about miracles? Is it healing, saints, or answered prayers from God?
When we speak of miracles, it seems like we could publish our own dictionary for its various definitions. As Catholics, we believe in the power of the bible, rosary, and saints that are said to be instruments of Jesus Christ.
This week let’s explore the world of religion by sharing the story of Patron Saint Jude Thaddeus of Baranggay Cotta, Lucena City.
According to the bible, St. Jude Thaddeus is the “Patron Saint of Hope and Impossible Causes.” “Thaddeus” was said to have been his surname because of the name “Labbaeus” which means “heart” or “courageous”.
He is one of Jesus’ original twelve Apostles. He preached the Gospel with great passion, often in the most difficult circumstances. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, he made profound differences in people’s lives as he offered them the Word of God. He was popularly known for his letter to the Churches of the East wherein he quoted that the faithful must keep going even in harsh or difficult circumstances.
Today, many people especially students, ask for his help during bar and licensure examinations. It is believed that many students are passing their exams because of the spiritual Thursday mass devoted to him.
Last Thursday, our team got a chance to interview Sister Fely Bandola, one of the oldest spiritual candle sellers at Baranggay Cotta, Lucena City.
Can you share with us the story of the Nine-Thursday Mass?
Every Thursday, Saint Jude Parish Shrine holds a mass. At five in the afternoon, before the mass begins, Lucenahins from Cotta and faraway places like Candelaria, Tayabas, Lucban and Sariaya, etc. pray the novena. After the novena, the Thursday Mass will start at five-forty-five in the afternoon and will end at around seven o’clock in the evening. It has been called “The Nine-Thursday Mass” because of the ritual of completing nine masses every Thursday in the hope that your prayers would be heard. That said, there is no complete assurance that those prayers and wishes would automatically be granted. As the saying, goes “God will provide, but we must also do our part”.
What are the different offerings given during the mass?
Before the mass starts, people buy a white candle placed inside a glass that would be lit during the mass. It is believed to be a sign of thanksgiving and prayer. Aside from the white candle, they also buy candles of different colors – each symbolizing a different wish. Brown candles are for those wishing for good health, blue for those looking for a stable career, yellow for those seeking help with their general needs, green for those having financial problems, peach for students seeking guidance, pink for those looking for true love, red for those who have been losing hope, violet for those looking for enlightenment, and white for those seeking purity.
There are also some people who offer donations during the mass. They are eventually used to help underprivileged Lucenahins from urban poor areas, street children, and kids at orphanages.
What can you say about students who believe in the Nine-Thursday Mass?
For many years, I have witnessed students who have been attending the mass, praying to Saint Jude Thaddeus, and eventually becoming a devotee. During board and licensure examinations, our church becomes one of the busiest churches in Lucena City. Students from different colleges and universities such as ACES, CEFI, MSEUF, SLSU-Lucena, and even students from SLSU-Lucban, etc. visit our church every week. They believe that Saint Jude Thaddeus gives them strength and hope during their review, and will provide them the knowledge, focus, and inspiration that they will need on the day of the examination.
Some of them would even ask me what other rituals can they do or what offerings can they give. And the only feedback that they always get from me is faith. I always tell them that Saint Jude Thaddeus is just an instrument of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is still our faith that would help as survive in every struggles and challenges beyond our lives.
After the board or licensure examinations have ended, do those students who prayed to Saint Jude Thaddeus still continue to attend the mass?
Yes, and I am glad to tell you that those students become more spiritually faithful to God and Saint Jude Thaddeus. Many of them still buy spiritual candles, greet us, and share their professional lives as teachers, engineers, nurses, and psychometricians, etc. They even invite their friends and co-employees to try the said Nine Thursday Mass.
It’s nice to hear stories like this that inspire people and give hope to those who are lost, don’t you think? How about you? Do you also practice a particular religious ritual or devote yourself to a particular saint?