A novena, or nine-day prayer, to Saint Jude can take numerous forms. Saint Jude, one of the apostles of Jesus, is also known as Jude Thaddeus. Because the saint is considered patron of desperate situations or lost causes, many novenas request his prayers for God to help with great difficulties.
Although novena prayers, including specific requests for favors from God through saints' intercession, are traditional among Catholics, and acceptable according to Catholic doctrine, the Catholic church discourages belief that any particular prayer guarantees a miracle or desired outcome.
The Catholic church does not officially prescribe words for novena prayers to Saint Jude. Some Saint Jude novena prayers differ only slightly from one another, while others are quite different. Some involve saying the same prayer each day for nine days. Some involve saying the same prayer, often short, nine times a day for nine days. Some prescribe different wording each day for nine days. Many involve addressing prayer directly to God the Father or to Jesus in addition to requesting that Saint Jude pray to God for one's intentions.
The National Shrine of Saint Jude in Chicago, run by missionaries of the Claretian order, relates the nine days of prayer in a novena to the days Jesus' apostles spent praying between his ascension into Heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon them at the first Pentecost.