By Ian Wilson (rated G)
Little is known about these two disciples of Christ. They are only mentioned very briefly in the Gospels, and are celebrated together due to their close association in Christian tradition.
Jude goes by a few different names; sometimes he is addressed as Judas, not Iscariot, while other times he is called Thaddeus or Lebaeus. He is known as the author of the Epistle of Jude, in which he denounced certain early heretics. Jude is unusual in that he quoted from the Book of Enoch, which is not considered to be part of canonical Scripture.
Both men were part of a Jewish nationalist party known as the Zealots before our Lord Jesus called them to be apostles. For three years, they followed Jesus in his public ministry, until his death, resurrection and ascension. It is unknown exactly what happened to them afterward, but fourth century sources state that Jude went to Persia to spread the Gospel, where Simon joined him. According to this tradition, both men were martyred there. Basil the Great, however, believed that Simon died peacefully in Edessa, a city in Asia Minor.
May we all exercise the simple faith which Jesus taught us, laboring quietly, though our works may be forgotten, yet our Lord remembers.