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St. Thomas the Apostle

Patron of Architects: July 3

St. Thomas the Apostle
St. Thomas the Apostle

St. Thomas, also called Didymus meaning ‘twin,’ was a Jew and was called to be one of the original twelve Apostles.

Little is known about Thomas except for what is recorded in Scripture. His name is briefly mentioned in the list of the chosen apostles in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, but Thomas is quoted in the Gospel of John.

It was Thomas who urged the disciples of Christ to accompany Jesus when news of Lazarus’ death reached them. (Jn 11:16) At the Last Supper, Thomas asked the important question, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” To which Jesus instructed, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:5)

However, Thomas is most known for his questioning and disbelief when the other Apostles proclaimed that Christ had risen from the dead when he told the others, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hand and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (Jn 20:25) Thomas took the opportunity a week later when he saw Jesus to make an act of faith (“My Lord and my God!”) when Christ invited him to “put your finger here and see my hands…”. (Jn 20:27-28) To this day Thomas is known as ‘doubting Thomas.’

Tradition says that after Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit, Thomas was sent to spread the Good News of Christ to the Parthians, Medes and the Persians. He is believed to have ultimately reached India and the Malabar Coast where a large native population still call themselves “Christians of St. Thomas.” Thomas died a martyr’s death being stabbed with a spear in 72AD in India.

O Glorious Saint Thomas, your grief for Jesus was such that it would not let you believe he had risen unless you actually saw him and touched his wounds. But your love for Jesus was equally great and it led you to give up your life for him. Pray for us that we may grieve for our sins which were the cause of Christ’s sufferings. Help us to spend ourselves in his service and so earn the title of “blessed” which Jesus applied to those who would believe in him without seeing him. Amen.