Both Simon and Jude were ordinary men who were chosen by Jesus himself to teach others about God’s love and to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Their lives help us to understand that even the most average people can become saints when they decide to follow Jesus.
The list of the Apostles are: Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the zealot, Judas (Jude) the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, who was the traitor. Because there were two apostles with names so similar, Judas and Judas the Iscariot, Judas was often not mentioned for fear of confusing him with Judas Iscariot. Eventually Judas is named Jude. The letter attributed to Jude in the Bible never lists this Jude as an apostle so definite identity of authorship is not known.
Jude is also called Thaddeus (see Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18). St. Jude is typically depicted holding an image of Jesus in his hand. When a local king asked Jesus to cure his leprosy, he sent for an artist to bring him a drawing of Jesus. Impressed with the king’s show of faith, Jesus then placed a cloth to his face, leaving his image. Jesus then gave this image to St. Jude, who used it to cure the king of his leprosy. St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes.
St. Simon was the son of Cleophas, the brother of Joseph, making him Jesus’ cousin. Simon is not the same person as Simon Peter known as St. Peter. He is called Simon the Zealot, a name that probably alludes to being associated with, or at least, being sympathetic toward, the Zealot movement that wanted a revolutionary overthrow of the occupying Romans.
The East claims Simon died a peaceful death at Edessa. In the West, Simon is said to have preached in Egypt, then traveled to Persia with Jude (who had been working in Mesopotamia) where they were both martyred. St. Simon is the patron of woodcutters and tanners, among others.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen