In praise of San Judas Tadeo- patron saint of hopeless cases

San Judas Tadeo celebrates a feast day today, October 28th.

There is a select bunch of us, quite a large group around the world, devotees of this particular saint of the Catholic faith, for whom this is a very important day.

St. Jude Thaddeus is the patron saint of hopeless cases, casos díficiles y desesperados. I know that sounds a little extreme, but when you need something to hold on to, his prayer is quite useful. I especially like his prayer because it always brings a sense of peace, even though you may be going through a tough time. Está muy bonita la oración, like my abuelita says.

On occasion, I go to Saint Victor’s Church in West Hollywood, where they pray a novena to St. Jude every Monday night, and where he has a nice following. I’ve added the prayer they have close to the altar, in the images below.

By the way, did you know that the organization Saint Jude and Saint Jude Research Hospital, which helps kids with cancer, was founded by Danny Thomas? Back when he was starting out in the 1940’s, then a struggling actor, Danny Thomas (Marlo Thomas’ father) was a devout Catholic who used to pray to the saint asking to get a big break in showbiz. He almost gave up on trying to make it in the entertainment business, but made a promise to Saint Jude that if he ever made it big, he would repay him in a way where people would always remember Saint Jude. Mr. Thomas prayed, “help me find a way in life, and I will build you a shrine.” Long story short, he finally did make it big in showbiz, and as he promised, he founded the organization which helps so many families today. “Be thankful for the healthy kids in your life…” as they say in their advertisement. (Little bit of trivia there, my friends.)

So if you’re ever going through a problem or tribulation, or if you just plain need a miracle, don’t hesitate in asking St. Jude Thaddeus to intercede for you and remember to keep the faith. Faith is a wonderful thing.

Here is the prayer to St. Jude from Saint Victor's Catholic Church in West Hollywood.

Here is the prayer to St. Jude from Saint Victor’s Catholic Church in West Hollywood. (Photo via iPhone)

Lit a little candle today.

Lit a little candle today.

Mi San Judas Tadeo de cabecera, siempre en mi casa. (Photo del iPhone)

Mi San Judas Tadeo de cabecera, siempre en mi casa. (Photo del iPhone)

Todas las mañanas me tomo mi cafecito con San Judas Tadeo.

Todas las mañanas me tomo mi cafecito con San Judas Tadeo.

Habemus Papam? Maybe this week.

Happy Monday people. 

Watching the news coverage this weekend and today, I have never been as jealous of all those news correspondents who get to travel to Rome in anticipation of the new Pope announcement. That can’t be work! Que padre se la pasan! The scenery, the food, the beautiful romanos and their landscape and monuments…I was so pleasantly entertained this morning by Charlie Rose and Nora O’Donnel over at CBS Morning. (I say, I am becoming more of a regular viewer of this show than the other ones, Today on NBC and GMA on ABC, which are becoming more like empty calories in the morning. I need substance- noticias- and CBS seems to fit the bill. But I digress…)

Which leads me to the Papal Conclave starting on Tuesday and where the entire world will be waiting for that humito blanco que salga de la chimenea de la Sistine Chapel. It may not happen on Tuesday but I do believe it will happen this week. (No creo que aguanten mucho tiempo encerrados los Cardenales.)

Since everybody is speculating on who could be chosen, que si los cardenales italianos se van a dejar, que si tal vez uno de un “emerging country”  (africano o latinoamericano), que si este o el otro.  Será todo es un secreto, pero todo el mundo está pendiente y opinando.

Since nobody asked me, I’m going to go ahead and say what I, a practicing Catholic, would like to see in the new Pope. I’d like to see a man who is happy to be Pope, someone who exudes joy, who travels and engages with the Church and inspires faith (supongo que seria una nueva version de Juan Pablo II) and also someone who addresses all the challenges and problems that are still unresolved and fixes them. Easier said than done, pero tengo fé.

I happen to like Cardinal Dolan from New York, who the media says is a far shot, but somebody like him could motivate us catholics more, especially here in the USA. Enough said.

Photo from the New York Times: Cardinal Timothy Dolan is a happy, cheery fellow. We like him!

Photo from the New York Times: Cardinal Timothy Dolan is a happy, cheery fellow. We like him!

Read more about him here in the NY Times. “Pope Material or Not, a Charming, Cheerful Cardinal takes notice in Rome.”

The Cardinals are to write in a little paper the name of their choice under the line Eligo in Summum Pontificem (meaning “I elect as supreme Pontif) and then they have a blank line ______________ to write the name . Después tienen que doblar el papelito a la mitad y entregarlo. Just like your school ballot elections when you were running for Student Council way back in the day. Keep it simple. Once the ballots are cast and read, 77 votes are needed to declare a winner. If there’s no winner, there’s another voting process. Voting continues up to 4 times a day until there’s a winner.

So we wait until Tuesday to start, and beyond that for the chimney smoke to turn from back to white… In the meantime, I’m gonna have to take a nap pretty soon because this horario nuevo me sigue causando bostezos a deshoras.

Wordless Wednesday: Hey…You look familiar!

Jesus, is that you? (Sunday October 14, at the AIDS Walk LA. A familiar face was among the thousands of walkers.)

“Jesus” walks the Walk right in front of the Beverly Center.

A Short Guide to Patron Saints- Cual es tu santo favorito?

Perhaps it takes a Sunday Mass Church bulletin to get me in the mood for writing again.

Have you noticed I’ve been absent? You can tell I’ve neglected this baby, a very obvious abandonment of sorts, I even have called it a writer’s block. BUT you never know when inspiration strikes and yesterday it suddenly did.

Yo tenia un amigo, muy querido para mi, and someone I miss every day, that used to tell me, “Cuando no sale por inspiración, sale por disciplina…” in reference to writing and making something out of nothing. So if it’s not inspiration then it’s discipline, right? Well my friends, I have been lacking both. Nomás no podía…I couldn’t start typing anything that made sense. All drafts went down the delete icon… But enough about that, nobody needs to hear the why’s and the hows. Solo que ayer, as I was reading my Church bulletin (St. Victor’s in West Hollywood) I came across a few items that caught my eye and somehow it made sense to share it on the only platform I feel comfortable in sharing it: my blog.

Full disclosure, I do not know the writer of this item, nor the editor of the Bulletin, but it was published on Sunday Sept. 9, twenty third Sunday in ordinary time, at Saint Victor’s West Hollywood Church Bulletin, on page 3. And it made me want to share it because you all know I have my favorite Saints that I’ve written about in the past (San Judas Tadeo y San Antonio de Padua) but this little write up explains it in a way that all you people of faith out there can probably relate.

Así que para quien le sirva, and God knows we all need a little help and  intercession sometimes, here’s a handy little guide to los santitos que nos puedan echar a little manita.

Saint Francis de Sales is the patron saint of writers.

What are Patron Saints? Patron Saints are chosen as special protectors or guardians over areas of life. These areas can include occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes- anything that is important to us. The earliest records show that people and churches were named after apostles and martyrs as early as the fourth century.

In recent years, the popes have named patron saints, but patrons can be chosen by other individuals or groups as well. Patron saints are often chosen today because of an interest, talent or event in their lives reflects that particular aspect of life.

For example, Francis of Assisi loved nature and so he is patron of ecologists. Francis de Sales was a writer, and so he is patron saint of journalists and writers. Clare of Assisi was named patron of television because one Christmas when she was to ill to leave her bed she say and heard Christmas Mass—even thouh it was taking place miles away. Lucy is the patron saint of people with eye trouble. St. Joseph watches over carpenters and all other workers. Lawyers have Thomas More, and physicians have St. Luke. If you are stranded at the airport. St. Joseph of Cupertino is on call because he was said to rise off the floor when he prayed.

Angels can also be named as patron saints. An individual born on the feast day of a saint is often named after that saint who then becomes his or her own patron saint. A patron saint can help us when we follow the example of that saint’s life and when we ask for that saint’s intercessory prayers to God.

So there you have it. Maybe it was Saint Francis de Sales who interceded for me y el que me prendió el foco para escribir de nuevo....or maybe it was my dear friend.

So I am back… and if you’re still reading, thank you so much for your patience! I promise not to stay gone so long.

San Antonio de Padua, Junio 13


San Antonio de Padua hace milagros, ya sabemos, pero hoy 13 de Junio es el dia de su Santo así que “Keep it in mind”…. (Ahi te encargo San Antonio!)

Este texto es de una estampita que me dio mi abuelita hace mucho tiempo:

“¿Quién te llama angustiado, Padre mío San Antonio, que tú no le escuches sácandolo con mano poderosa de la tribulación en que se encuentra? Pues cuando perdiste el Breviario y llamaste a la Santísima Virgen te concedió tres mercedes: Que las cosas perdidas fueran aparecidas ; las olvidadas fueran recordadas, y las propuestas aceptadas… Así San Antonio, aquí vengo hoy con mi propuesta, para colocarla en tus manos y recordarte con la mayor necesidad una de las tres mercedes que te concedió María desde los cielos, para derramarlas en tierra como santo tributo de tu poder milagroso y que el Señor te concedió.”

Rosca de Reyes time. ¿Qué les trajeron los Reyes Magos?

La tradición del Día de Reyes (or The feast of the Epiphany if you’re a Catholic and know the story about the “magi from the east” following the star and traveling to pay homage to Baby Jesus) is alive and well in Los Angeles. This year it falls on the first Friday of the month so it’s bound to be celebrated en grande.

If you still don’t have your Rosca de Reyes purchased, and if you’re in the downtown LA area on Friday, may I recommend a panadería right smack in the middle of the Grand Central Market? It’s called La Adelita and they still have a few Roscas available. They range in price from 7 to 20 dollars, depending on the size. They can also add as many monitos as you want, but you have to special order it. Standard roscas come with 2 monitos only, but waiting to see who gets the monito is what the fun is all about, so knock yourself out. ¡Pónganles muchos! I say the more, the merrier.

(Yes, you probably know this, but anyone who gets a monito needs to organize a party on February 2nd, el Dia de la Candelaria… preferably with Tamales and champurrado. Rarely anybody follows through, but we just want to believe we can keep the parties going.)

If you're in Downtown LA on el Dia de Reyes and you need a Rosca, head over to La Adelita panaderia inside the Grand Central Market on Broadway. They open from 9am to 6pm.

This is the $7 dollar Rosca with 2 monitos included. But I say add more!

While you're at it, you may want to shop around Grand Central Market. It's a great place to browse and take pix. It's also one of the locations used for the movie "City of Angels" (way back in the 90's.)