Thousands of pilgrims, many wearing the green color of St. Jude’s cloak, walked together through the streets of San Francisco carrying statues and other symbols of devotion to the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes during the 16th annual St. Jude Pilgrimage Oct. 26.

The pilgrimage, which started with a morning Mass at Church of the Epiphany in San Francisco ended almost eight miles later at St. Dominic Church, home of the Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, which sponsored the event.

An apostolate of the Dominican Friars of the Western Dominican Province, the shrine was founded in 1935 to bring hope to San Franciscans during the Great Depression.

The sidewalk in front of both churches was a colorfully festive scene. Music played as families gathered around vendors grilling meats or selling fruit and other Hispanic foods and treats. Devotional items such as rosaries, St. Jude statues, prayer books and t-shirts were displayed on every corner.

St. Jude Thaddeus, according to Catholic Online, was one of the twelve Apostles and a relative of Jesus Christ. It is believed he became known as the patron saint of seemingly lost causes because of a New Testament letter he wrote stressing the importance of faithful perseverance in harsh circumstances.

Two devotional floats, one carrying a statue of the Blessed Mother surrounded by pink and red roses, the other, a large statue of St. Jude, were carried the entire distance by Dominican friars.

After the statue entered the church to wild applause and song, it was placed on the main altar where pilgrims gathered expectantly for their turn to touch the saint or kneel before him in prayer.

Full story at Catholic San Francisco.