Simon, mentioned in all four of the Gospels, was called “the Zealot” and was part of a sect that practiced extreme Jewish nationalism. As such, he participated in illegal actions, including the assassination of those against the cause of Jewish independence. Once converted to Christ, Simon turned his zeal toward the spreading of the gospel to all who would listen.
Jude, also known as Thaddeus, is mentioned in Matthew, Mark, and the Book of Acts. Some scholars believe he wrote the book of Jude, while others dispute his authorship. Saint Jude Thaddaeus (so named to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot) has an enviable lineage. He and
St. James the Lesser were brothers, he was Mary’s nephew and a cousin of the Lord. Matthew 13:55 describes Jesus as the carpenter’s son, the son of Mary and brother (cousin) to James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, referring to Jude Thaddeus.
Both were present at Pentecost and received the Holy Spirit. Simon then went to preach in Egypt, Jude Thaddaeus in Mesopotamia. Eventually, they became an evangelizing team throughout the Middle East, and if tradition is correct, were martyred together circa 65 AD in Beirut, in the then Roman province of Syria.
A few points of interest:
• Some believe St. Jude was the bridegroom at the Cana wedding feast.
• St. Jude is Patron Saint of lost causes and desperate situations.
• St. Simon is mentioned only four times in the Bible.
• St. Simon is Patron Saint of curriers, sawyers, and tanners.