The feast of Saint Jude on 28th October is normally attended by thousands of pilgrims to the Apostle's National Shrine in Faversham, Kent, served by the Carmelite Friars. However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, this year's feast will be a 'virtual' celebration with a wealth of activities that pilgrims can access online through a new website specially created for the festivities: www.togetherwithJude.org
2020 marks 65 years since the establishment of the Shrine, adding an extra significance to the celebrations.
The statue and relic of Saint Jude at the heart of his National Shrine at Faversham.
The feast will be preceded by a Novena of daily prayer starting on 20th October, with live video reflections led by Carmelites. Devotees of Saint Jude can make a virtual pilgrimage to the Shrine by watching the webcam which is live 24 hours a day, and leaving a prayer request. Friends of Jude can also light a candle.
The culmination of the feast will be a live-streamed Mass at the Shrine on 28th October, celebrated at 12 noon by the Prior Provincial of the Carmelites, Fr. Kevin Alban, O.Carm.
This is the first time since the Shrine's establishment in 1955 that it will not be open to the public for the feast, but the Carmelites confidently trust that Saint Jude - patron saint of difficult cases - will give us fresh hope in the face of present difficulties.
Text & Photography: Dr. Johan Bergström-Allen, T.O.C.