We live, love and learn together joyfully, in Jesus' name

Saint Jude

Saint Jude

Saint Jude is our patron Saint and is an example to us all. He means a great deal to the children and they know that they can pray to him and ask him for guidance.

Saint Jude, known as Thaddaeus which means 'generous and kind', was a brother of Saint James the Less, and a relative of Jesus. Saint Jude was one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus.

Ancient writers tell us that Jude preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. He returned to Jerusalem in the year 62, and assisted at the election of his brother, Saint Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem.

We often see pictures and statues of Saint Jude with a flame on his head. This is to represent his presence at Pentecost, when he received the Holy Spirit with the other Apostles. Sometimes we see him in a boat to symbolise that, as an Apostle, he was a fisher of men. He asked Jesus at the Last Supper why he would not manifest himself to the whole world after his Resurrection.

Little is known about Jude's life, other than that he was a good man who followed the Lord. He is thought to have been martyred in Beirut in around 65 AD, along with fellow apostle Simon the Zealot. He is often depicted showing a club or axe, symbolising the way he died.

In the Catholic church he is known as the patron saint for hopeless causes. Jude became associated with desperate situations because of a letter he wrote to the Churches of the East. In it he says that the faithful must keep going even in harsh or difficult circumstances.

House Saints

At Saint Jude's we have a house point system, which involves four houses. These houses were named after four inspirational Saints: Therese of Liseieux, Bernadette, Peter and Paul.

Upon entry to school, each pupil is allocated to a house.

A pupil can obtain house points for excellent homework, good attendance, being polite, showing kindness, being a good example, trying their best in class, good manners in the dining hall, just showing a little extra effort and good behaviour in and out of the classroom.

Each week the points are counted and the children are told the scores to date. At the end of each term the winning term has a special party organised by the Headteacher.

Saint Therese of Lisieux

Saint Therese of Lisieux

Feast Day: 1 October

Therese was baptised two days after she was born. Her Mother taught her to pray but died when Therese was only four years old. In 1884 she made her First Holy Communion and was confirmed a month later. She wanted to become a Carmelite nun like her sisters but the Bishop said that she was too young so she went with her Father to Rome and asked the Pope. The Pope told her that she would go to Carmel if God wanted it.

Therese went to Carmel in 1888 and while she was there she prayed for missionary priests and wrote down her childhood memories.

She became very ill with tuberculosis, in spite of her many sufferings she always tried to be cheerful and help others.

Just before she died she told the sisters not to be unhappy after her death because she would send a shower of roses and spend her heaven doing good on earth. She died in 1897.

Saint Bernadette

Saint Bernadette

Feast Day: 16 April

Bernadette was born in 1844 in Lourdes, in France. Bernadette was often sick she suffered from asthma. Her family were very poor. Whilst gathering firewood, a beautiful lady appeared to her in a cave.

Bernadette saw the lady eighteen times. The lady asked her to dig a little home in the ground and to wash her face. Suddenly a spring started to flow. Bathing in the spring has cured many pilgrims.

Later Bernadette became a nun. She died at the age of thirty six in 1879.

Saint Paul the Apostle

Saint Paul the Apostle

Feast Day: 29 June

Saul was a tent maker and Jew who hated the Christians. He even helped in the stoning of Saint Stephen the Martyr.

He was on his way to Damascus to arrest some Christians when a light from heaven suddenly shone around him. He fell to the ground. He had been struck blind. He heard a voice saying "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" He asked, "Who are you?" and the voice answered, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." Saul asked, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" The voice said, "Go into the city; you will be told what to do."

Saul had to be led by his companions into the city. After three days, a man named Ananias came to him and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord has sent me that you may get your sight back and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

At once Saul could see. He was baptised and was called Paul. He began to preach the word of Jesus and wrote many letters to the Christians. Paul travelled and preached for years. He died in Rome in the year 67.

Saint Peter

Saint Peter

Feast Day: 29 June

Peter was a fisherman from Bethsaida, a village near the Lake of Galilee. His brother was the apostle Andrew and he was friends with apostles James and John.

Andrew introduced Peter to Jesus. Jesus said, "You are Simon Peter son of John; you are to be called Cephas, meaning Rock." Peter was often the spokesman for the group of apostles. When Jesus asked, "Who do you say I am?" Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus loved him dearly, even after Peter denied knowing him during the passion.

Peter became the leader in the early Church. According to the Acts of the Apostles, he was the first to preach on Pentecost. Peter was imprisoned three or four times. Finally, in Rome, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion. Out of respect for his Master, Jesus, he asked the guard to fasten him to the cross upside down.

Class Saints

Each class at St Jude's School has adopted a saint who they research and learn about; there are special devotions made to these saints. On the feast day of a class saint the pupils in that class celebrate the occasion with a party.

Reception - Saint Mary our Mother

Saint Mary

Feast Day: 1 January

The Mother of God, Mother of Jesus, wife of Saint Joseph, and the greatest of all Christian saints. Traditionally, she was declared the daughter of Saints Joachim and Anne. Born in Jerusalem, Mary was presented in the Temple and took a vow of virginity.

Living in Nazareth, Mary was visited by the archangel Gabriel, who announced to her that she would become the Mother of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit. She became betrothed to Saint Joseph and went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who was bearing Saint John the Baptist.

Mary and Saint Joseph went to Bethlehem and there Mary gave birth to Jesus and was visited by the Three Kings. Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the Temple but warned to flee, Saint Joseph and Mary went to Egypt to escape the wrath of King Herod. They remained in Egypt until King Herod died and then returned to Nazareth.

Mary was present at the Crucifixion in Jerusalem, and there she was given into John's care. She was also with the disciples in the days before the Pentecost, and it is believed that she was present at the resurrection and Ascension.

Mary possesses a unique relationship with all three Persons of the Trinity, thereby giving her a claim to the title of Queenship. She was chosen by God the Father to be the Mother of his Son; God the Holy Spirit chose her to be his spouse for the Incarnation of the Son; and God the Son chose her to be his mother, the means of incarnating into the world. She is also our Mother. While she is not our Mother in the physical sense, she is called our spiritual mother.

Year 1 - Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi

Feast Day: 4 October

Francis was born in 1182. His parents gave their son all the good things that money could buy. He liked poems, songs and parties and became a knight for a while; he had a dream telling him to go home and to follow God. When he got home Francis went to pray in an old Church. There he heard Jesus telling him to rebuild it. He sold some of his father's best cloth and repaired the Church. He took off his fine clothes and gave them to the poor and left home.

Francis began to visit hospitals and to serve the sick. He believed that everything was made by God was very good. He admired the great and wonderful things of the world; he told all the birds and animals to praise God.

Some people decided to live like Francis and he took twelve young men to Rome with him, and the Pope gave him permission to start a new religious order, the Franciscans.

Francis had a vision in which he saw Jesus hanging on the cross and he was given the same wounds that Jesus had on his hands, his feet and his side. When Francis grew ill and weak he thanked God for the pain he was suffering. He died in 1226.

Year 2 - Saint Joseph the Worker

Saint Joseph the Worker

Feast Day: 19 March

God chose Joseph a young carpenter of Nazareth to be the foster father of Jesus and the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After they were engaged to be married an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that Mary would give birth to a Child who would be the Son of God.

Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem to register for the census. They could find no place to stay except a stable. There Mary gave birth to her Son and laid Him in a manger.

At the word of an angel Joseph took Jesus and Mary to Egypt and stayed there till the angel told him to go back to Nazareth. At Nazareth Joseph worked hard for Jesus and Mary. Later, Jesus worked with Joseph in the carpenter shop and learnt how to make things out of wood. Joseph died in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Year 3 - Saint Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine of Siena

Feast Day: 29 April

Catherine was the youngest of a very large family, she had twenty three brothers and sisters. At the age of six she had a vision in Church in which Jesus appeared to her and blessed her. She felt that Jesus wanted her to give her whole life to him.

Catherine's parents wanted her to marry so she had her hair cut off and became a Sister instead, joined the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Dominic. She took care of the poor and the sick, nursing people no-one else wanted to care for and spent a lot of time in prayer.

Catherine made a special visit to Pope Gregory XI and told him that God wanted him to live in Rome not France. The Pope listened to her because she was very wise and did go back to Rome. Catherine became very sick and three months later died in 1380 aged thirty three.

In 1975 Catherine, who had never gone to school (she only learnt to read and write shortly before she died), was declared a Doctor of the Church. This is a title for someone who was outstanding in teaching and guiding the Church. Saint Catherine is the Patron Saint of Nurses.

Year 4 - Saint Lucy

Saint Lucy

Feast Day: 13 December

Lucy was born in 283 into a rich family. Her Father died while she was young. Her Mother was ill for four years. Lucy persuaded her Mother to go to the tomb of Saint Agatha where they prayed all night and fell asleep exhausted. Saint Agatha appeared in a vision to Lucy and at that point her mother was cured.

A rich young man wanted to marry Lucy but because she had offered herself to God she refused. He was so angry at her refusal that he told the governor she was a Christian and she was led to the city for trial. She told the governor "I will never sin, so that the Holy Spirit will give me a greater reward. You see now that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that He protects me."

The governor ordered a fire to be lit around her, but Lucy was not harmed. At last, a sword was thrust into her heart. She did not die until a priest came to her with Holy Communion. Saint Lucy is the patron saint for people who have trouble with their eyes.

Year 5 - Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony of Padua

Feast Day: 13 June

Saint Anthony was born at Cona about the middle of the third century. His parents were very rich and wanted him to be a great nobleman. But he wanted to be poor and follow Jesus, so he became a Franciscan.

Anthony was a great preacher. He was send out as a missionary and preached in many cities in Italy and France. He brought sinners back to God mostly by his good example. One day, when Anthony was praying in his room, the Infant Jesus appeared to him, put His little arms around his neck, and kissed him. This wonderful favour was given to him because he loved Jesus very much.

When he became ill, he went to a monastery outside of Padua where he prepared for death. Many miracles took place after his death on June 13, 1231. Even today he is called the 'wonder-worker'.

Year 6 - Saint Martin de Porres

Saint Martin de Porres

Feast Day: 3 November

Martin de Porres was born in Lima in Peru on 9th December 1579. His father was a Spanish knight and his mother was a freed slave.

When he was ten years old, he was placed with a doctor and he learned about medicine. He loved to help the sick and the poor.

When he grew up, he joined the Dominican Order. He continued to work with the sick and cured many people. He treated all as his brothers and sisters in Christ.

He was a very humble man and was loved for his kindness and charity to others. He also cared for animals and loved all of God's creation.

Martin died on 3rd November 1639. He was canonised in 1963.