As the Apostles bore testimony to their faith in their Lord Jesus Christ through martyrdom, the Early Church began to observe days of remembrance for their ministries. Unfortunately, the Christian Church began to practice hagiolatry or the worship of the saints. Pagan ideas of prayer being offered to and for the dead began to be practiced among Christians. Though Christians should never pray or offer veneration and worship to anyone or anything other than God, there is an appropriate place in the life of the Christian Church to remember faithful leaders who have given their strength and lives for the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The lives of the Apostles Jude (also called Lebbaeus, Judas, Thaddaeus) and Simon the Zealot are both remembered on October 28.
As is true of many of the Apostles, only faint evidence exists concerning the missionary efforts of St. Simon the Zealot. Though scholarly evidence for the ministry of the Apostle Simon outside of the New Testament is scarce, it is believed he labored in Palestine and may have labored together with the Apostle Jude in his evangelistic endeavors. An early Church historian claims that Simon was beheaded in Persia or shared the fate of other believers who were sawn to pieces as indicated in Hebrews 11. The shield that bears witness to his ministry contains a fish and the Scriptures, indicating he was a fisher of men through the proclamation of the Gospel.
The Apostle Jude, reportedly having traveled with Simon, is said to have ministered in various places. The date of his death and the exact circumstances which surrounded his martyrdom are unknown for certain. Having traveled with St. Simon, some have believed he was also martyred with his companion. The lives and ministries of the Apostles Jude and Simon are remembered on the same day, October 28.
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