Two of the gospels mention Jude (sometimes called Judas Thaddaeus, son of James) as one of the original twelve apostles. He is only quoted once when, in John 14:22, he asks Jesus, "Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?" (NRSV) Some scholars believe that he was the author of the New Testament's shortest book, "The Letter to Jude."
According to legend, Jude was a missionary to Persia and Mesopotamia, but it wasn't until the twentieth century that he was embraced as the patron saint of hospitals and hopeless causes.
One St. Jude shrine encourages this prayer:
St. Jude, apostle of the Word of God, pray for us.
St. Jude, follower of the Son of God, pray for us.
St. Jude, preacher of the love of God, pray for us.
St. Jude, intercessor before God, pray for us.
St. Jude, friend of all in need, pray for us.
St. Jude, pray for us, and for all who invoke your aid.
(This image of Jude is from the carving of da Vinci's "Last Supper." The carving can be viewed in The Upper Room Chapel in Nashville, TN.)