My friend, Marie, says that you can't have Saint Jude as your patron saint. I think that is b.s. My whole life is a lost cause! How you gonna deny me the special intercessory might of the patron saint of lost causes, Marie?! Saint Jude and I go back long ways!
Anyway, as any good Catholic can tell you, when you offer a petition to this patron, you do so with the full knowledge of the spiritual exchange that must accompany fulfillment of your desires. That is, one promises "to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor [Saint Jude] as ... special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to [him] by publishing this request." To wit, if Saint Jude intercedes for you in your lost cause and you are shown a way out of your troubles, you have to publicize that fact.
As a child, I used to be semi-obsessed withe classified section of our local newspaper. I was especially interested in two things: the personals ads and the sporting goods section (I was always on the look out for an epee or foil -- or indeed, any fencing supplies). But I was mystified and intrigued by the Saint Jude petitions. I had no idea what they were for or to whom they were addressed, but the numbers of people who had spent their hard earned money begging for his aid all seemed to belong to an exclusive club. Amongst the petitions you would occasionally find the requisite publication of success. I have no idea if there were so few because Saint Jude wasn't taking too many calls or if, as penitents are wont to do, the prayerful became the forgetful and simply forgot to thank the saint after their petitions were answered.
There are places on the web [virtual community, we] for the desperate, lonely, and scared to post their petitions and likewise, to publish the outcome. I have used those spaces before. But, I have my own web space and this space works just as well. So...
Thank you, Saint Jude, for prayers answered and help almost despaired of.