The Archdiocese of Mexico issued a statement last week clarifying that St. Jude Thaddeus is not the “patron saint” of criminals or drug lords and that devotion to “Saint Death” is not compatible with the Catholic faith.
The statement noted that “many people who commit crimes believe that St. Jude is their patron saint.” “In no way would this saint be interceding before God in heaven for those who act contrary to the commandments of Christ, violating the precepts of Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
During the recent celebration of the feast of St. Jude, known traditionally as the patron saint of lost causes, the archdiocese said that the Church encourages authentic expressions of devotion to the saint, but that it was obliged to point out that “in some cases there are serious incompatibilities” with the teachings of the Church.
The archdiocese added that true devotion to St. Jude “is completely the opposite of the devotion to ‘Saint Death,’ as Christ himself overcame death in his glorious rising from the tomb, promising eternal life to those who keep the commandments of the law of God.”
The devotion to “Saint Death,” which is linked to witchcraft and becomes more prominent as the feast of All Souls approaches, has become popular in recent years in parts of Mexico.