Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Gift Shop Sale: 15% off selected items

**This sale is now finished**

From 30 December 2015 until 4 January, we are offering the friends of Saint Jude 15% off some of our items via our on-line shop only. All items on sale include postage and packing, and most are listed below. Please click on item to purchase, or visit our on-line shop if you wish to purchase other items. These special prices are only available on-line.

Friar Beyond the Pale - Biography of founder of Shrine, signed by author
Saint Jude picture, beautifully framed

Saint Jude notelet pack
Shrine DVD
Shrine Guide

Saint Jude pillar candle

Bronze medal - designed in Lourdes
Plus much more, visit our on-line shop to take a look!

Offers are only available to UK and Ireland customers.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Thoughts from the Chaplain - Holy Door

Since the year 1300 when Pope Boniface VIII declared the first Holy Year, the Catholic Church has regularly celebrated “Holy Years,” usually every twenty-five years, except for special circumstances.

A major aspect of the Holy Year has been that of pilgrimage either to Rome or to a number of doors which have been opened in diocese around the world to make a symbolic entry through the Holy Door; to make reparation for sin and to renew the conversion of one’s life.

Christ identified Himself as the door, saying.  “Truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.    I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture” (John 10:7, 9).  Using this symbolic image Jesus tells us that the only way to the father is through him, the only begotten Son, the saviour.   Another aspect is the phrase ‘they…will come in and go out and find pasture’.  In other words this going through the gate is not a one-way journey.  We enter, are strengthened with grace and then go out to bring this grace to others through our actions.  There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into this life of communion with God:  This is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation.

Passing through the Holy Door is to open oneself to the transforming grace of God and to confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Son of God, Lord and saviour who suffered, died and rose for our salvation.

Therefore to pass through the door from the outside of St. Peter’s into the basilica is to pass from this world into the presence of God, just as in the old Temple of Jerusalem, the High Priest on the Feast of Yom Kippur passed through the veil covering the doorway of the Holy of Holies to enter into the presence of God to offer the sacrifice of atonement.   Moreover, to pass through the door is to confess with firm conviction that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Lord, and the Saviour who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation.

Pope Francis announcing the opening of the Holy Doors  says “To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop, and in the four Papal Basilicas in Rome, as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion. Likewise, I dispose that the Indulgence may be obtained in the Shrines in which the Door of Mercy is open and in the churches which traditionally are identified as Jubilee Churches. It is important that this moment be linked, first and foremost, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with a reflection on mercy. It will be necessary to accompany these celebrations with the profession of faith and with prayer for me and for the intentions that I bear in my heart for the good of the Church and of the entire world”.  So we can see that the thoughts of Holy Father in his pastoral role as Bishop of Rome go “to all the faithful who, whether in individual Dioceses or as pilgrims to Rome, will experience the grace of the Jubilee. I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God’s mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed”.

Fr Kevin Melody, O.Carm, represented the Prior Provincial of the British Province and opened our Door of Mercy at the National Shrine of Saint Jude on 13 December 2015. Photos below.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Thoughts from the Chaplain - Advent and the Year of Mercy

There is a natural connection between the season of Advent and the mercy of God. During Advent we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In him, we experience the mercy of God incarnate. The mercy of God is revealed in his Son who became one of us in order to fully experience what we experience, the life within an extended family; the dignity of human labour; the sense of rejection and being misunderstood; the pain of suffering during his passion; the sense of desolation as he cries out My God why have you deserted me; the loneliness of death.  It is in this that we see the full depth and breadth of God’s Mercy.

“At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an ‘Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy’ as a special time for the Church, a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.” (Misericordiae Vultus, no. 3)

These words are from the Bull of Pope Francis announcing the Year of Mercy which starts on 8th December 2015.  He calls us to be more aware of and to respond to the mercy which God has bestowed upon and that to accomplish this we need to take time to reflect, to look inside ourselves.  Advent is an ideal time to do this as we prepare to celebrate the incarnation of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus; that ultimate sign of mercy which becomes so clear as he goes to the cross for our sakes.

So the question is: ‘How do we go about respond to this mercy? As a beginning we need to acknowledge there is a problem: we cannot see – how often do we look at something and see what is in front of us but totally miss the true significance of what we are seeing. This is often the case when we fail to see the image of God in our neighbour; we cannot hear – we hear the words but filter them so that we do not listen and grasp the true meaning of what is being said to us. Often we are so busy with our own concerns and the everyday noise of the world that we cannot hear what God is trying to say to us; we cannot speak – we may be very articulate about our favourite topics or our work or politics are culture but when it comes to our faith, to what we believe we have trouble finding the words to express it; we do not know how to walk the paths of God – it is so easy to in our spiritual lives to behave as we do in a supermarket.  We wander through and pick up the things that attract us, that are easy, that do not challenge us and leave the rest.  We need to see, to hear, to speak, to walk with God but we cannot do these alone. In short we need God’s mercy.  And what better time to say yes to that mercy than during this season of Advent.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Photo(s) of the Month - December 2015

We are continuing our celebration of sixty years of ministry at the National Shrine of Saint Jude with our photo of the month. This month, we are pleased to show some photos of the new Shrine Information Centre, which was opened by the Archbishop of Southwark, Most Rev Peter Smith in October. 

The Saint Jude management team with the Archbishop and Mayor of Faversham

Archbishop Peter Smith unveils the new plaque

One of the letters congratulating the Shrine on its sixty years.

The Archbishop and Mayor of Faversham look at the new display in the Shrine Information Centre
You can view many more photos taken by Johan via the Carmelite Flickr site, here:, and read the report about the Feast Day, here:

Photos (c) Carmelite Charitable Trust and Johan Bergstrom-Allen


Today is ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬ (1st December in 2015), which is a global day of giving. After the sales of Black Friday and the online shopping boom on Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is an opportunity to come together to show the world why it’s good to give. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering your time or just spreading the word at the start of the Christmas shopping season, #GivingTuesday is a call to action for everyone who wants to give something back.
If you want to donate towards the work of the National Shrine of Saint Jude, please take a look at our on-line shop, here: or for other ways to donate, please visit:

Monday, 23 November 2015

Raffle - please note

All our raffles are registered under Gambling Act 2005 with Swale Council; and are promoted by Fr P Wijngaard, PO Box 140, ME20 7SJ, England

Registered charity number: 1061342

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Christmas cards from the Shrine

If you're thinking about sending Christmas cards to your friends and family, the National Shrine of Saint Jude have a number of beautiful designs on offer this year. You can order five cards of the same design in one pack.You can order these via our on-line shop by simply clicking on the letter below each design.




All prices includes postage and packing. Envelopes are included.

All proceeds go towards the Shrine and the work of the Carmelites in Britain and worldwide.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Thoughts from the Chaplain - Feast of Saint Jude

This weekend is the two day Saint Jude Celebration and for the last weeks the shrine team have been getting things ready:  new hymns sheets developed and printed, Mass texts re-read and errors corrected, signage made for the pilgrims, hundreds of bottles of Saint Jude oil labelled, filled and boxed, flowers are being arranged to adorn the altar, the repository moved from the hallway next to the shrine up to the office where it is all laid out on tables so the pilgrims have easy access.  Today, Thursday 22nd, the marquee is being set-up to house the candles which will be lit during the weekend as well as desks where pilgrims can write out their mass intentions and petitions for Saint Jude’s intercession. 

There is also another side to the preparation for the celebrations in honour of Saint Jude which came to me as I was preparing bottles of Saint Jude Oil. This is what I will call the spiritual dimension. Of course we are all aware the oil is blessed with the relic of Saint Jude and an accompanying prayer prior to being bottled; the reason we can only ask for a donation for each bottle the pilgrims take with them. But in the process of bottling the oil you enter into the pastoral care of those who will be anointed with the oil; it is in enabling this oil to be used that we become a link in that chain which culminates in the anointing of a pilgrim on the forehead with the oil. The blessing of the oil is done in the name of the God and of His Son Jesus; we ask God to bless the oil as a sign of his love for us; we invoke the intercession of Saint Jude, Apostle and kinsman of Jesus and ask that the Holy Spirit be poured into our hearts.  At the anointing we again ask God, through the intercession of Saint Jude, to free us from anxiety and help us in all our needs. And so even the act of filling oil into a bottle becomes in some way a pastoral act which is a part of our ministry as Shrine team.

In a similar way many other aspects of the Saint Jude Celebrations have a value above and beyond their material worth.  The things sold in the repository help to propagate an understanding in and a widening of the devotion to Saint Jude; the candles bought and lit become a vehicle of prayer – as the psalmist says: let my prayer come before you like incense; the flowers show our devotion to God and the desire to adorn everything to his honour.  I am sure that other people will be able to think of other examples of the spiritual side of the Saint Jude Celebrations. The important thing is to realise that these celebrations function on so many different levels: the devotion is not limited to the prayer at the shrine but is an integral part of our lives as Christians and a devotees of Saint Jude.

Fr Michael Manning, O.Carm

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Novena to Saint Jude

The following novena recently published in Carmelite News and from the National Shrine of Saint Jude is for nine days.

You can pray the novena in private, with your friends or family, or in a group. The novena starts on 20 October and continues until the Feast Day of Saint Jude on 28 October.

Jesus, I praise you and bless you
And give you thanks for
all the graces and privileges
you have bestowed upon
your chosen apostle Saint Jude...

 (Make your special request now)

Loving God,
who revealed to Saint Jude
your desire to come to us,
and share your life with us,
open our hearts
so that your Spirit may teach us your truth,
and that keeping your commandments
we may know your abiding presence. 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Carmelite Holy Souls Society

‘It does not matter where you bury my body. All I ask of you, is that wherever you may be, you should remember me at the altar of the Lord.’: St Monica to St Augustine

Fr Antony Lester, O.Carm writes: "The Carmelite Holy Souls Society reminds us that the Church is not confined to this world, but extends into the next as well. By praying for the dead, as we prayed for them when they were alive, we can establish a special link with the communion of saints. In a way this is a two-way street. We remember them in prayer and we ask them to pray for us. It is a helpful reminder that our brothers and sisters who die do not lose their identity, or their relationship with us. They remain the people that they are and the core of their identity is carefully reserved by God as they are transformed by God’s love and set free to love.

If you are anything like me, I imagine that you may be increasingly aware of just how much unfinished business we have in life. Things we may have said or done which we shouldn’t have, and which we now cannot put right. Often, once a word leaves our mouth, we lose all control over it!

Prayer, true prayer, is always an act of love. Our Catholic Christian tradition assures us that our prayer for the Holy Souls is one of the ways in which God loves our departed brothers and sisters into life in all its fullness. It is a gift of the tenderness of God to allow us to share in this loving process."

For many years, the National Shrine of Saint Jude has promoted the Carmelite devotion to the souls of the departed by establishing a Dead List that is renewed each year. People simply send in their lists of dead relatives and friends to be included in our prayers for the Holy Souls.

All those on your list will become members of the Carmelite Holy Souls Society for the year. 

Membership includes:
1. A daily Mass for deceased relatives and friends through the year (except the three days of Holy Week); 
2. A Mass each month for deceased members and benefactors;
3. A share in the Masses, prayers and good works of the whole Carmelite Order.

There is no fixed membership fee, or annual subscription. Please simply donate what you would like to become a member. You can either donate and send in your names via our on-line service, or by printing a form and sending it to the Shrine office.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Sponsored Walk

For many centuries, pilgrims have walked from Canterbury to Rochester. Our Development Manager, Matt would like to challenge himself to do the same in November this year. 

Matt will be walking from Canterbury via Faversham to Rochester, so that he can raise money for the Shrine of Saint Jude – in celebration of sixty years.

If you can sponsor Matt, please donate using via our on-line site, here. Or you can send your cheque or postal order made payable to: “The Carmelites” to: Sponsored Walk, Carmelite Friars, P.O. Box 140, Kent, ME20 7SJ


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Photo of the Month - September 2015

We are continuing our celebration of sixty years of ministry at the National Shrine of Saint Jude with our photo of the month. This month, we are pleased to show the future! Here are the Shrine toilets, which have not been upgraded for some time! In celebration, we have decided to completely refurbish areas of the Shrine for future generations. 

Can you donate towards our refurbishment work? All you have to do is donate via here to support us.