Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle — July 3

Saint Thomas, apostle, preacher, and Christian martyr was born in the First Century AD, in Galilee, Roman Empire (present-day Israel.) The Patron Saint of India, he died on Saint Thomas Mount, Ramapuram, India, in Seventy-two AD. According to legend, Thomas was reluctant to accept his mission to preach the gospel in India. Then one night, the Lord appeared to him in a vision and said, “Fear not, Thomas. Go to India and proclaim the Word, for my grace shall be with you.” His ministry resulted in many conversions throughout the kingdom, including the king and his brother.

Thomas was an ordinary man who led an extraordinary life because he was chosen to walk by Jesus’ side. He was heart-wrenching in his clumsiness, his impetuosity, and his flagrant unbelief.

He declared to the other disciples, “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25b

A week later, as the disciples once again gathered, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Speaking to Thomas directly, he offered these words: “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas replied without hesitation,”My Lord and My God!” Why had he not believed earlier? Was he jealous of the other disciples and a missed opportunity, angry that things hadn’t turned out as he hoped, or perhaps afraid of being hurt again?

Now and forever known as Doubting Thomas, he opened the way for Jesus to encourage all of us who followed. “Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Cloister Saint, The Community of Jesus — St. Thomas

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