Key themes in the novena prayer to St. Jude include placing trust in the saint to intercede with God for a particularly difficult or despairing case, as well as gratitude to God for his favors. The Catholic Church honors St. Jude Thaddaeus as the patron saint of desperate cases.
In addition to invoking the saint's intercession for a particularly hopeless case, the novena also asks for consolation and help in all of the trials and sufferings the one saying the prayer may come across in life. The novena includes a part where the one saying the prayer may make a specific request of St. Jude, which may be a terminal illness or some other hopeless situation. The one making the prayer also promises to be always mindful of the saint's intercession, and to honor the saint and spread devotion to him.
The prayer includes invocations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, and concludes with an Our Father and Hail Mary. The prayer takes the form of a novena, which is a set of prayers said for nine consecutive days. A novena is meant to recall the nine days of prayer that proceeded Pentecost. Individuals may pray the novena to St. Jude at any time, or as a special preparation for his feast day on Oct. 28.