Take Courage, do not be Afraid (Matt 14:27)

Reflections from the Shrine

Shrine OLGAs the disciples of Jesus were making the crossing in the boat at Jesus’ command (Matt 14:22), they were confronted by a violent wind that threw them into a panic (v 24). Battling against the strong waves unsettling their boat and being overwhelmed with fear of drowning in the middle of the sea, Jesus, whom they are yet to recognize, walks on the sea towards them.  At this point, the fear of the disciples turns into helplessness. They cry out in fear “it is a ghost” (vv 25-26). But Jesus calms their fears with an invitation to take courage (v 27).  Right about the time the disciples were overwhelmed by the strong waves of the sea, Jesus showed his authority and power over the sea by walking on it. Peter wishes to escape the chaotic and fearful experience on the boat to be with Jesus. So he said to Jesus, “Lord ask me to come to you” (v 28). Peter believes that to be with Jesus is better than to be on the boat that may sink under the threat of strong winds. As soon as Jesus joins the disciples on the boat, calm, peace and tranquility replace fear, anxiety and helplessness.

Are you feeling overwhelmed to the point of being drowned by the challenges you face in life? Many devotees of St. Jude coming to pray at the Shrine experience their progress in life impeded by the strong waves of hardships beating against their efforts towards a stable family life or career. Debbie recently found out that her position at work would no longer remain open.  She is a single mother working hard to keep up with the demands of raising her family of two kids and also caring for a mother with rapidly deteriorating health issues. Debbie feels overwhelmed.  She is concerned about the uncertain direction of her life, she is not only stressing but having panic attacks as the uncertain waves of the future sweep her off her comfort and spin her away from any remainder of hope that she has. Although she feels defeated by the massive size of her challenges, she told me that she is confident that God would be able to calm the stormy winds of hardship that assail her family. So she puts her trust in God and continues to ask in prayer for God’s intervention.

As Jesus showed His power over the disciples’ fear and anxiety by making an appearance at the very moment that they were overcome by fear, likewise, be assured that Jesus will be there for us when we feel subdued under the weight of our challenges. Debbie is joining us in prayer here at the Shrine of St. Jude to seek God’s compassionate intervention in the life of her family.  Consider joining us to pray for courage and strength in moments of difficulties. Come pray with us to ask Jesus to be with us whenever we feel outclassed by the strong waves of hardship blowing around us.

Fr. Ferdinand Okorie, CMF
Novena Director
National Shrine of St. Jude
Chicago, Illinois

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  • ceg April 26, 2017 at 5:13 AM

    Dear Saint Jude…thank you,

    I just received feedback in regards to the job interview I attended on 20 April 2017.

    I have been selected to attend a second interview next week….

    Saint Jude thank you, thank you, thank you for praying so much for me…

    Please Saint Jude please continue to pray for me….in regards to this job/position.

    Saint Jude please help me !!

    I need money urgently to pay for all my monthly obligations.

    Please please please pray to God to help me with a huge financial blessing urgently.

    Thank you Saint Jude for your continued prayers and divine intercession.

    Thank you for taking my prayers to God for me..thank you for always praying to Jesus for me and The Holy Spirit for me.


  • Virginia January 3, 2017 at 11:17 PM

    St Jude I thank you for interceding for me in the matter of my marriage. Increase the love between CR and myself. Grant that we celebrate a prompt, holy, happy healthy love filled long lived marriage, blessed by Jesus Himself! Love, joy, peace!

  • Anely Loprandado November 4, 2016 at 8:36 PM

    Thank you, St. Jude! Through your intercession, all my prayer requests were granted. God is trully great. May all the glory and honor be with our Lord, Jesus Christ! Amen.

  • Flordeliz C. Pegalan September 1, 2016 at 8:57 PM

    St. Jude,
    Please help me to pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) this coming September 25, 2016.

  • Flordeliz C. Pegalan September 1, 2016 at 8:50 PM

    St. Jude! Please give me wisdom,knowledge,power this coming September 25, 2016 (Sunday) for my Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET)
    Thank you

  • Carlos L. Torres August 25, 2016 at 10:45 PM

    St. Jude, may I have the strength and courage to embrace God’s will in all things.

  • Marilyn Rodrigues August 21, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    St Jude please intercede and heal my son of pain and worry and give him the courage and strength to fight his illness of Luekemia and heal him! Amen

  • Maria Valencia July 28, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    My precious St. Jude, thank you for comforting me when I am most interested need of strength. Thank you for answering my petitions. I am humbled and appreciate you being by my side. I ask that you please give guidance, protect, and continue Blessing our children, specially my son Matthew. I see his is lost and maybe questioning our faith. Please give him strength and knowledge. I pray for my son Andrew for his health. This year he has been goibg throughave some heath issues and he is afraid. Give him courage because he strongly believes in our Catholic faith. My daughter Angie, for her to have knowledge, strength, courage to know how to make friends and speak up when being given bullied. I pray for there health, mind, and soul. I pray for my niece Dulce Jaime’so health. Thank you St. Jude Thaddeus, I love you and honor you. Amen

  • Diana July 28, 2016 at 8:20 PM

    I pray to you St Jude for my son. Thank you for listening to my prayers. I prayed my son will return home and you answered. My son is returning. I prayed to help me locate housing for my son and you snswered. It is a nice place. I pray to you St Jude and to St Joseoh for immediate employment. My son and I are waiting from the interview committee to request my son to be present for an interview. Intercede for my son and I as we wait with courage and faith. St Jude share my prayer with Jesus Christ and God the father that a communication for an interview will occur. And that the interview will lead to employment. I pray to you St Jude that I will always be mindful of this prayer, that I will be a solemn supporter and spread devotion to you St Jude. I pray in Jesus name..Amen

  • Nelsa December 30, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    St. Jude heal my daughter who is suffering from mental illness and is hopeless and lost. Help her with the gift of faith, hope, health and a kind heart. As she heals so will our family

  • Michael November 15, 2015 at 10:11 AM

    For all the intentions I have especially for a friend who is balancing work with nursing her elderly mother. That my brother stay cancer free. Thanks be to God and St Jude

  • Peter Claver Opoki July 27, 2015 at 10:48 AM

    St. Jude intercede for me so that the Lord calms for me the strong waves of financial and health hardships that are beating against our efforts to have a debt-free life,a healthy life, a holy marriage and blessing with at least a son.

  • Rita March 12, 2015 at 11:43 PM

    Dear St Jude please help my nephew overcome all his difficulties. I implore your help through Jesus Christ. Amen

  • Pauline. Jacka November 28, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Good influence for my Nero’s Yvette with her partner justice as bipolar threatens to crush their future relationship and prospect of children too much for him to consider paging on this curse
    So only remedying to remember your powerful intervention along with church support group having healing miracle
    I Jesus be praised to overcome all things being possible

  • Mary August 23, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Holy St. Jude: Please heal my family and friends, some with cancer. Please give me strength to take care of my family, and financial blessing and wisdom. Amen.

  • Joni August 22, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    St. Jude I know you intercede on my behalf for the finances I need now. God knows…In Jesus’ name I pray amen

  • Joni Nueno August 22, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    St.Jude thru your Intercession I humbly ask Our Father to help me get through Life’s Difficulties and Protect My Family from all evils and harms.And may we have the Justice that we rightfully deserve from People who have robbed and wronged us and Please help me ro stay calm and at Peace amidst the Storm that we are having in Our Life.In Jesus Name I Pray.Amen

  • Mauge Irigoyen August 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Saint Jude, please answer my prayers, make my wishes come true…amen

  • Mary August 22, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    St. Jude please intercede for financial freedom, debt free for myself and friend Amen

  • Butterfly August 22, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    Bless my daily sales dear St. Jude so that I can fulfill my financial obligations. I also ask for your help in my financial difficulties which is affecting me emotionally.

  • annette August 22, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    St Jude please intercede for my daughter Sharlene and heal her of dreadful schizophrenia..also heal us all of mind body and soul.. in the name of Jesus..Amen.

  • R. A. August 22, 2014 at 5:19 AM

    Please, St. Jude, walk with all of us who beg for your intercession. Comfort and console our fears…Protect all who are faced with the bowels of Hell that has risen in the name of ISSL

  • Mary August 22, 2014 at 5:17 AM

    Please intercede for my daughter Sarah and cure her of all her illnesses.

  • loretta paoline August 22, 2014 at 5:15 AM

    DEAR ST JUDE please intercede to GOD that I will overcome the fears and anxity and I can feel the Holy Sprit,peace and joy to go on with my life to give my family happiness.Praise andThank YOU ST JUDE.Amen.

  • Rosemary Abbo August 22, 2014 at 2:40 AM

    St.Jude, please intercede for me in all my many many needs, thank you

  • Moses Lourdes August 22, 2014 at 2:37 AM

    St.Jude please intercede and cure my pain on my shoulder it’s very painful . I will live a health life in the name of Jesus. Amen

  • Maggie August 22, 2014 at 2:25 AM

    St. Jude please pray for me that God God will answer my answers in this painful difficult situations I am in. l continue to ask for God’s intervention and liberation in all what is happening in my search of gainful employment, in my marriage. Hear and answer me my powerful saint.l also bring our finacial crisis we are in and the debts we have may God make a way for us.


  • Butterfly August 22, 2014 at 1:59 AM

    Dear St.Jude you are the patron of hopeless cases. I am holding to my prayers that my boyfriend would come back and open his heart to me. Heal my emotions dear St. Jude for a part of me is almost to lost hope and give up.

  • Carmelita Bolado August 21, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    St. Jude, pls intercede for my prayer for
    Mrs.Evelyn Calub my friend whose
    Husband died of heart attack this am. May her whole family be consoled, comforted and have peace at this moment of their grief. And may the soul
    of Lorenzo Calub the husband granted
    Eternal rest in God’s kingdom. I too pray
    For those departed relatives of our Holy
    Father Pope Francis rest in peace and
    our Lord grant the family comfort and
    peace. Thank you Good St. Jude. Amen.

  • diane August 21, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Pray for me and my fiance that we will over come all obstical that stand before us that he will be a godley man and I a godley woman as our lord intended.

  • Lourdes August 21, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Please St Jude help me and pray for me that the Lord will hear and answer my prayer that the visa of my husband the rest of the group will be granted so that i can be reunited with my husband again and to help him overcome his addiction. I pray this in Jesus name,St Jude please intercede for me. Amen

  • fina ronquillo August 21, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    St Jude I humbly ask you pray for me for a stable career. my family”s safety and good health including mysellf in Jesus name. Amen

  • Virginia Navarrete August 21, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    St. Jude please intercede for me. Please ask our Lord to bless our work place and to remove the negativity and the rudeness that our boss exhibits. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  • Rmack August 21, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Dear St. Jude, I pray for peace in the world. I ask for my sil to become employed so my daughters stress can be lessened. I pray for mom, and all who are afflicted with addictions. In Jesus name, I pray .

  • suzanne Martin August 21, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Thank you St. Jude for a miracle granted and please intercede with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Our Heavenly Father to reunite our daughters and grandchildren with us.

  • annmarie August 21, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    i pray to you St Jude everyday in hopes my prayers are answered in always grateful and need help for me and my family amen always devoted and know God will help

  • nancy hall August 21, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    St Jude: Please help me to heal and get rid of this overwhelming depression.
    Thank You

  • beth August 21, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    Pray for my husband and my relationship while we are apart due to his incarceration,we are having troubles right now with respect n appreciation n showing love for one another

  • Debi August 21, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Praying for help. Worry over my finances and feeling I’m drowning

  • lucia August 21, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    St Jude, I pray you may help all those who are in need, including myself. Forgive me my sins, help me to be a better, stronger and healthier person and thank you for all I do have. Help me to trust. In Jesus name I ask. Thank you. Amen.

  • Teresa August 21, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    St. Jude, I have been praying for you to intercede and move in that that certain person with the COURAGE to reach out to my daughter for a SECOND CHANCE in LOVE,respect and devotion. And then this shows up for me. Let it be a sign that you are working on my petition.

  • gayle gondek August 21, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    need help with decsions on what to do to stay or move.thank you st. jude

  • Toni August 21, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Please help me and answer my or ayers! Thank you

  • neth August 21, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Please help me St. Jude, make my wishes come true….Amen

  • paula mahinske August 21, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    St. Jude, Please pray for me to attain that perfect Love of God that casts out all fear, to surrender all aspects of my life, worries, regrets, hopes, work, sorrows to Divine Providence, especially my fear of homelessness and financial ruination. In Jesus Name I pray these petitions be granted. Amen.

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