Dramatic Graces Witnessed as St. Jude Relic Tours US Parishes

The “Apostle of the Impossible Tour” will be in Michigan and Ohio throughout October before moving on to other states

Painting of St. Jude Thaddeus from the side chapel of Schottenkirche Church in Vienna, Austria
Painting of St. Jude Thaddeus from the side chapel of Schottenkirche Church in Vienna, Austria (photo: 2013 photo, Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock)

Nearing Chicago and heading to the very first stop at St. John Cantius Church to open the tour of the relics of St. Jude the Apostle Sept. 9, Father Carlos Martins, the director of Treasures of the Church, got a call from Owosso, Michigan. Before the 283-mile drive from his office to the Windy City, he had brought the relic of St. Jude to one group of people in Owosso. Now he was about to hear of a dramatic improvement in health thanks to the intercession of the “Saint of the Impossible.”

On the line was Doug Edwards, owner of Edwards Sign and Screen Printing. He was excited to tell Father Martins, the director of the tour, what had happened.

The reliquary holding the relics of St. Jude (l) are seen with El Greco’s 17th-century painting, ‘St. Jude Thaddeus.’
The reliquary holding the relics of St. Jude (l) are seen with El Greco’s 17th-century painting, ‘St. Jude Thaddeus.’

Before the tour was to open, Father Martins drove from his office in Detroit to Edwards’ shop in Owosso to pick up large catechetical banners on the life of St. Jude, devotion to the saints and relics. They were for this Apostle of the Impossible Tour.

He had met Edwards years earlier when Edwards visited a Treasures of the Church relic exposition. At that time he told Father Martins that he would take care of all the printing needs of his ministry. Like before, he would not even accept the director of the relic tour’s insistence to pay him for these St. Jude banners that ran to more than $20,000. Father Martins said Edwards told him, “Father, I insist. It will make me feel like I’m evangelizing.”

Before leaving to pick up the banners, Father Martins called Doug and said, “I'm on my way to come get them. I’m bringing St. Jude’s relics with me. Call whatever family and friends you like to your shop, and they can have some up close and personal time with him.”

By the time he arrived, Edwards had 20 people there wanting to venerate the relic, two large pieces of the apostle’s forearm contained within a single reliquary.

“I asked, ‘Which one is Noreen, your wife?’ Because I had never met her in all the activities that I ever saw him,” Father Martins said. “His wife could never go.”

Doug’s wife Noreen was especially in Father Martins’ mind. She had undergone brain surgery 22 years earlier. It left her severely disabled. Father Martins said, “Many activities became impossible for her. Among other things, she had to relearn to walk and talk. While she did learn to walk again, it worsened such that, as time went on, she could only do so for brief distances, and even that exhausted her.”

She was unable to come to the shop.

“Unfortunately, Father, Noreen was not having a good day today,” Edwards told him. “She's not able to be here.”

“No problem. We will take St. Jude to her,” Father Martins answered.

“Father, I really appreciate the offer. Noreen and I are very grateful for your willingness to come to our home,” Edwards said, but the visit was impossible. “She is having a bad day and is not up for a visit.”

Since that was the case, “We asked St. Jude himself to visit Noreen and touch her,” Father Martins said. “I said, Jude, I need you to go there. I need you to do something.”

That next day, as Father Martins was on the road and about an hour away from beginning the relic tour, he answered that ringing phone.

“Beside himself, Doug called me,” Father Martins said.

He had gone home from work at the print shop, opened the door, and found a surprise. His wife had cooked lunch and had it all set out on the table, something she had not been able to do in 22 years.

“Doug was in shock,” Father Martins said. “He could not get over the change in his wife. In his words, Noreen was ‘darting about the house like a young girl.’ The sudden change in her condition was remarkable.”

The days to follow would confirm that her infirmity and the cause of it were gone.

Edwards told him, “Father, it can only be from God. St. Jude intervened for my wife! Truly, this is the work of God. I keep asking myself, Is this real? Thank you, Jesus. All things are possible through you.”

Edwards said at first he was “dumbfounded” by that “big of a switch thrown” from seeing her “never get out of bed, to [becoming] her own self again, her spirits back.”

Noreen “even signed up for a Catholic women's conference,” Edwards shared. “I was shocked at that because she didn't even want to go to the store. So she's completely changed. Her spirit is healed 100%.”

He had been praying and praying for her, and when Father Martins arrived, he said, “I held that relic in my hand and said, ‘St. Jude, you know my situation with my wife, if your cousin could do something about it.’”

And the impossible happened. Now Doug and Noreen plan on driving a half hour to Lansing when Father Martins stops at a church there. “Noreen said, ‘I want to go over and thank him’ in person.”

Doug added, “I've had to really fight the demons off me because I've gone through some real serious stuff for a long time. And you know, all of a sudden, my partner's back and it's beautiful. It's absolutely beautiful!”

Noreen shared her thoughts. “I feel blessed and will continue to pray to my new patron, St. Jude!” she told Father Martins. “I have been renewed.”

“St. Jude wasn't even physically present with her, but I did make a petition on her behalf,” Father Martins again emphasized. “How could I not after what Doug had done? This is the stuff of our faith. We truly believe this is a reality. God says this is good.”

This proved to be a remarkable opening to the 100-plus stops initially planned for this tour or St. Jude’s relics.

Such graces should be expected in the presence of relics, accentuated Father Martins.

“Every time relics are mentioned in Scripture, there is always a healing. God is a proud parent, and he likes to draw attention to his saints by working miracles in their presence.”

“What is remarkable about this healing is that it happened even before the tour officially began,” he highlighted. Then he explained, “We had not yet even reached our first host destination. Furthermore, the relic was not even present when Noreen’s healing occurred. Nevertheless, we directed our prayers to the relics, proving that the saints respond to the devotion given to their remains. … The Apostle of the Impossible shows, yet again, why he is known as the patron saint of hopeless cases and desperate situations.”

During the more than 100 planned stops for the Apostle of the Impossible tour through next spring, surely there will be many more graces thanks to St. Jude, the Apostle of the Impossible, along the way.