I preached about Molly Seidel and her struggles last Sunday — and so I was moved to see this item on Tuesday, from NBC News: 

The last couple miles of a marathon can be brutal, but they can be even more challenging when you’re competing for a medal at the Olympics. For Molly Seidel, she says she had a little help from above to get her through the race.

The Team USA marathoner stunned the world by taking home a bronze medal in Tokyo in just the third marathon of her career, and she told TODAY that one of her mom’s favorite prayers gave her the boost she needed to persevere.

Seidel’s mom had texted her the prayer from St. Jude, who just so happens to be the saint of the impossible, and the athlete found it comforting to recite during the homestretch of the race.

“My mom went to the sister school of Notre Dame, where I went to university, and she found it in the grotto at ND when she was in school,” Seidel told Savannah Guthrie and Craig Melvin on TODAY Tuesday. “She prays it all of the time, really in times of difficulty or in times of need.”

Crunch time in the final portion of the race in 100-degree heat with an Olympic medal on the line certainly qualified as a time of need.

“With about four miles to go of that race, when I was sitting right around that fourth, third place, and I didn’t know whether or not I was going to medal, it was getting really, really tough,” Seidel recalled. “I just started mouthing it to myself and was just hoping and praying that I’d be able to keep pushing through to the finish line and come away with a medal.”

St. Jude helped her bring it home, as Seidel, 27, became the first American female marathoner to medal since Deena Kastor won bronze at the 2004 Olympics.

Seidel opened eyes around the world by finishing in the top three despite only previously running two marathons in her career. In the first marathon of her life, she finished second at the U.S. Olympic trials in February to qualify for Tokyo.

Read more. 

There are many popular prayers to St. Jude. Here’s just one of them: 

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of difficult cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.

Intercede with God for me that He bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly –
(make your request here)

– and that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever. I promise, O Blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.