Javascript is currently disabled. This site requires Javascript to function correctly. Please enable Javascript in your browser!

Saint Thomas the Apostle

Saint Thomas the Apostle
  • Century: 1st Century
  • Patronage: Architects, Builders
  • Feast Day: July 3rd

St. Thomas was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus.  He is best known for questioning Jesus’ resurrection when first told of it, then proclaiming, “My Lord and my God” on seeing Jesus in John 20:28.  He was perhaps the only Apostle who went outside of the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel.  He is also believed to have crossed the largest area, which included the Parthian Empire and India. 

Thomas was a very dedicated but doubting follower of Christ.  When Jesus said he was returning to Judea to visit His sick friend Lazarus, Thomas immediately told the other Apostles to accompany Him on the trip, which involved certain danger and possible death because of the mounting hostility of the authorities of his time.  At the Last Supper, when Christ told His Apostles that He was going to prepare a place for them to which they also might come because they knew both the place and the way, Thomas pleaded that they did not understand and received the beautiful assurance that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 

St. Thomas is best known for his role in verifying the Resurrection of his Master.  Thomas’ unwillingness to believe that the other Apostles had seen their risen Lord on the first Easter Sunday merited for him the title of “doubting Thomas”.  Eight days later on Christ’s second apparition, Thomas was gently rebuked for his scepticism and furnished with the evidence he had demanded, seeing in Christ’s hands the point of the nails and putting his fingers in the place of the nails and his hand intoHis side.  A this, St. Thomas became convinced of the truth of the Resurrection and exclaimed, “My Lord and My God”, thus making a public profession of Faith in the Divinity of Jesus. 

At Pentecost, at the dispersal of the Apostles, St. Thomas was sent to evangelize the Parthians, Medes and Persians, and ultimately reached India.  He is revered highly in India, as he was the one to bring them the early Church and teachings of Christ, and to this day they boast as being “Christians of St. Thomas”.  He shed his blood for his Master, speared to death at a place called Calamine.      

Finaly, it is believed that Thomas was the only witness of the Assumption of Mary into heaven.  The other apostles were miraculously transported from wherever they were in the world, to Jerusalem to witness her death.  But, Thomas was left in India, until after her burial, when he was transported to her tomb.  Here he witnessed her bodily assumption into heaven, from which she dropped her girdle.  In an inversion of the story of Thomas’ “doubts”, the other Apostles were skeptical of Thomas’ story, and were not believers of this event until they saw the empty tomb and girdle laying on top. 

Practical Take Away

Thomas was a very dedicated Apostle of Jesus, and witnessed many miracles as he walked and talked first hand with Jesus.  He earned the title “Doubting Thomas” because of his doubting Jesus’ resurrection.  Until he was able to stick his finger in the nail holes, and his hand in the side of Christ, he did not believe.  Jesus told him that you believe because you have seen these things, blessed are those that believe and have not seen.  You and I too, may have a strong faith in Jesus and the teachings of the Catholic Church, but often times doubt things because we haven’t see them first hand.  By praying and asking for St. Thomas’ intercession, we too can be assured of our doubts falling away, as his did – focusing on the saving Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.