The Saint Jude prayer is used in times of extreme need and to remember that nothing is impossible with God, even when nothing else has helped. St. Jude is the patron of desperate cases.
St. Jude was one of the 12 Apostles. He was referred to in the Gospels by the surname Thaddeus, possibly to avoid confusing him with the traitor Judas Iscariot. His letter in the New Testament, encourages charity, prayer, and loving obedience to God in the face of difficulties. Accordingly, devotees traditionally offer prayers to St. Jude in times of hopelessness and great desperation.
Christians may use the St. Jude prayer as a single prayer, or as part of a novena. Novenas are prayers that have specific intentions and are said daily for nine days or on one day a week for nine weeks.
The website for the National Shrine of St. Jude has several topic-specific prayers, including eternal life, healing, hope and peace as well as a prayer for people with cancer. Our Catholic Prayers offers a novena made up of the St. Jude Prayer said with three sets of other prayers to be repeated daily. Pray More Novenas has a novena that includes opening and closing prayers in addition to nine daily prayers to this patron.