It was back in 1952 or was it 53, what the hell it was some time ago that I first heard of St. Jude. I had just taken this delicious young lady named Delores Hertel to see "Guys and Dolls" which starred Robert Alda, that's correct the father of Alan Alda, Hawk-eye of Mash TV fame, and was brushed off because she had a beau in the Navy fighting the Korean War. She wanted to see the play more than she wanted to see me, but I think she had a crush on both of us. Shortly after we went our different ways I heard she was being operated on for a brain tumor which was pretty serious back then, pretty serious right now too. I was looking at the bleak future she might have if she had any future at all when I got something in the mail.
It was a tract from a Church in New York City all about a novena to a Saint called Jude who was supposed to be the Patron Saint of impossible causes. I read it closely and quite frankly thought this was a lot of bunk, propaganda, used by the church to raise money. But then I heard that she had to have this operation that was sure to leave her in very poor shape for the rest of her life if it didn't kill her. So being the pragmatic person I am I figured what the hell I might as well give this Saint a try because from all I had been hearing this was really an impossible case and she was so young, beautiful and maybe she'd go out with me after she recovered if this hokum really worked.
I made the novena, and prayed the prayers. She was operated on and there was a time that things looked bad, very bad. BUT she survived and had no after-effects. And I wish I could say that we went out afterwards and had a great love affair, hot and heavy but I can't say that because we never saw each other again but she married, had kids and for all I know is still alive probably never thinking of me again. But through her I met this great Saint Jude, Patron of Impossible cases. I never lost track of him and he never lost track of me. He always answered my prayers, quicker in the young days of our friendship than now that our friendship has aged and he is no longer "The Forgotten Saint". Our first born was named after him and it was a good choice because if anyone was an impossible case my first born son was/is. He has guided him well through many an impossible storm to quite a good life, but he still has to watch him carefully.
I like to kid Saint Jude that when we first met and he wasn't as popular he had more time for me but now his plate is more than full he sort of pushes me to the rear but I know and he knows that my life keeps getting more complex as I age and I have aged quite a bit and my choices have become increasingly more complex than ever but Saint Jude is working on their resolution not only for my benefit but for the people and situations I am praying for.
Since today is October 27, his feast day, I thought I should wish him a sort of Happy Feast (Birthday) Day and pay him some tribute before my world, before I meet him face to face. And if any of you reading this have a pretty difficult, shall we say "Impossible" problem you can borrow my Saint he has time for everyone.