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St. Thomas the Apostle

Feast Day of St. Thomas the Apostle

The Gospel account of Jesus' appearance to His grieving apostles after His resurrection in John 20, tells of Thomas, who was away, being doubtful of the preposterous story that the Lord was alive. He had been with the Lord during his Passion and Crucifixion. He knew about the stone that sealed the tomb. How could his Lord be risen from the dead? I will not believe it, he told his friends, unless I put my hands in Jesus' wounds.

Doubting Thomas

Gospel Reading: John 20:24-29

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe”. Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing”. Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

St. Thomas is also mentioned as being present at another Resurrection appearance of Jesus – at Lake Tiberius when a miraculous catch of fish occurred. This is all that we know about St. Thomas from the New Testament.

Malabar Coast Map

Tradition says that at the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost this saint was sent to evangelize the Parthians, Medes, and Persians; he ultimately reached India, carrying the Faith to the Malabar coast, which still boasts a large native population calling themselves  ” Christians of St. Thomas.”  He  shed his blood for his Master, speared to death at a place called Calamine.

Martyrdom of St. Thomas by Rubens
By Peter Paul RubensOphelia2, Public Domain, Link

We can relate to this doubt — we too are often “doubting Thomases”. And we, with Thomas, have felt ashamed of ourselves. We can follow Thomas's example in proclaiming, in awed recognition of Our Savior's living, real presence, “My Lord and my God!”

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