The Saint Jude Shrine in Our Nation’s Capital
For centuries the memory of Saint Jude Thaddeus was nearly forgotten. Often he has been referred to as “Jude the Obscure.”
In the United States, popular devotion to Saint Jude is a twentieth century phenomenon. Many shrines, including The Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude, began in the dark days of the Great Depression. At that time, men and women needed someone to whom they could turn at moments of great and desperation.
Today, located at Saint Dominic Church in Washington, DC, The Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude has become the center of devotion to Saint Jude in the nation’s capital.
Regular daily devotions to Saint Jude, especially four Preached Novenas throughout the year, highlight the spiritual exercises carried out by the Dominican Friars at this shrine.
Dominican Fathers in the Early Days of the Shrine
The Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude was founded in the late 1920’s in Detroit, Michigan. For more than 70 years, this shrine satisfied the needs of countless clients of the Blessed Mother and Saint Jude Thaddeus. Novenas of every kind were celebrated at Saint Dominic Church. Since the mid-1960’s, however, because of the deterioration of the neighborhood, attendance at the shrine steadily declined. In the 1990’s, few pilgrims came to the shrine. Still, many kept up correspondence with the shrine throughout the years.
Meanwhile, the National Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude had been established in the early 1930’s in Washington, DC. For nearly 70 years, devotions at this shrine fulfilled the needs of countless clients of the Blessed Mother and Saint Jude Thaddeus. Preached Novenas have been regularly celebrated at Saint Dominic Church with a steady stream of pilgrims and patrons of the Blessed Mother and Saint Jude Thaddeus.
In the fall of 1998, the Dominican Fathers of the Province of Saint Joseph decided to combine The Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude (Detroit MI) with The National Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude (Washington DC).
In January of 1999, Father Kenneth A. France-Kelly, OP, was appointed Director of The Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude (Detroit MI) and Director of The National Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude (Washington DC). His selection was announced in mid-May.
By mid-June of that same year, His Eminence James Cardinal Hickey approved the move of The Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude from Detroit to Washington DC.
In early August of 1999, The Shrine Pipeline, the Shrine Newsletter, came into existence. Later that summer, The Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude moved to Washington DC.
In mid-July of 2000, the Pilgrim’s Guide, a small handbook for religious visitors to the shrine, was first published.
In August of 2000, a new statue of Saint Jude Thaddeus was purchased.
Early in 2001, the renovation of the Saint Jude Shrine area was begun. Then on Sunday, 28 October 2001, Bishop Leonard J. Olivier, SVD, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington DC, dedicated the restored and renovated Saint Jude Shrine area.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus was further renovated. Today the newly-renovated Saint Jude Shrine serves as a beacon of hope in our nation’s capital. The first class relic of Saint Jude is venerated at the shrine every Friday following the noon Mass.