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St. Thomas the Apostle

Feast Day: 3 July

Thomas, one of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s twelve apostles, was probably a Galilean Jew, and apparently not a fisherman.

The Scriptures are silent as to how or when the Lord attached him to His first apostolic college.

His name is Syriac meaning “Twin”, and he was also called Didymus which is the Greek equivalent.

After Our Lord had risen from the dead, Thomas is mentioned as unbelieving when the other apostles claimed to have seen the risen Lord in their midst while Thomas was out.

His reaction: “Except I shall see in His hands the prints of the nails, and put my finger in the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe,” (John: 20:25). Eight days later, when the risen Christ suddenly appeared in their midst again, He turned to Thomas after His initial greeting and said to him, “Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand and put it into my side. And be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27). And Thomas dropped to his knees exclaiming, “My lord and my God!” (John 20:28) Jesus answered: “Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.” (John 20:29)

There are vague traditions that place St. Thomas initially in Parthia and Persia in his missionary ministries. There are more reliable traditions that he arrived in India in 52 A.D.

On the Malabar coast there is a large population of native Christians that call themselves “Christians of St. Thomas” they claim to have been originally evangelized by St. Thomas in person.

And ancient oral tradition states that he was martyred in the Coromandel Coast by spearing on a “Big Hill” eight miles from Madras, India.