Travel & Leisure

What is San Judas Day?

The pilgrimage of San Judas day at San Hipolito church

Have you heard about San Judas day in Mexico? Every year on October 28th, a thousand people will go to the San Hipolito church in Mexico City to pay respect to the patron saint of thieves and lawbreakers, San Judas de Tadeo. Keep on reading to find out about who is Saint San Judas and why some people respect this saint.

Who is Saint Judas Thaddeus and how did he die?

The saint Judas Thaddeus was a relative and disciple of Jesus, he was also one of the Twelve Apostles. But, he was the least mentioned among the Apostles. In the last supper picture, he is the second man on the right with a beard and long hair. Some believe that he has the magical power to solve all difficult problems, especially cure diseases. To this day, Judas has become one of the well-known saints that people worship in the Catholic religion, especially in Mexico. Every year on the 28th of October, a big faithful crowd will head to the temple of San Hipólito to pay respect. After that, they’ll throw public parties in honor of this saint.

The death of Saint Judas was told in many different ways. Some say he died on October 28th, the same day as Saint Simon in Persia, and that they were cut in half with a saw. But, some say Saint Judas was beheaded or hit to death. Judas’s body was transported from Beirut to Rome and buried in a crypt in St. Peter’s Basilica. Every year, there are many pilgrims who visit the tomb.

How did the worship of Saint Judas begin?

Many people turned to St. Judas Thaddeus after his death. But later, his name was oblivious since people confused his name with Judas Iscariot, a man who betrayed Jesus. However, in the early 20th century, St. Judas’s name was mentioned and popularized by the catholic church in America. After the first devotional activity to St. Judas occurred in Chicago in 1927, the speech of the devotion to this saint slowly spread throughout the country. A thousand men, women, kids, and adults devoted themselves to St. Judas during the great depression and World War ll. Among the poor, people would call them San Judutas. Currently, many police officers, artists, students, and upper-class people are also devotees. Moreover, the popularity of this saint has been expanding, particularly among young people. The obvious support would be images of St.Judas that can be seen in the youth community in Mexico.

What’s the San Judas public party?

Throwing a public party is the way devotees celebrate Saint Judas Special day. On the celebration day, you will see:

  • Some people carrying statues or pictures of Saint Judas from their home to the temple.
  • Once they are in the temple, they will light candles and pray to saint Judas then promise him to be good.
  • Lastly, they will ask him to fulfill their wishes.
  • Also, It is their tradition to go to the temple and give food offering to all people who attends the place.

When does the San Judas Party begin?

The party begins at midnight on the 28th of October. The street will be full of pilgrims and vendors selling food, beverages, and accessories. Normally, people start the celebration by singing Mexico’s old birthday song, then enjoy singing and eating for 24 hours while waiting to get into the temple. After the celebration, some devotees may go to Puebla city to see religious relics in Judas church or just go back to their working life hoping that St Judas will protect them and fulfill their prayers.

The belief in Saint Judas

No one knows for sure why the veneration of Saint Judas is so crucial in Mexico city. Some believe that he can help with money problems. Also, that might be due to his appearance; Saint Judas wears a golden medallion on his neck and has a similar face to Jesus Christ. Moreover, he holds a club or an ax which represents his death. That said, some people interpret this as Saint Judas protecting them from dangers with the club, but only if they stay faithful. Therefore, thieves, robbers, and junkies really respect and strongly believe in Saint Judas that he will help them when they’re in a difficult situation.

In fact, there are many types of people in Mexico city who trust this saint. Every year, they will pray and ask him to help with sickness, work, and money issues. When their prayers are fulfilled they will return to the temple and complete their promises to Saint Judas. Most people promise to donate snacks, food, bracelets, or other accessories to other pilgrims.


If you have a chance to go to Mexico City, you may see some people carrying the Judas statues. It’s a good idea to follow them to the temple to see their beautiful traditions, and who knows, you might find what you have lost too.