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St Thomas the Apostle

Saint Thomas the Apostle

Saint Thomas, from whom we get the phrase "Doubting Thomas".

Thomas was a Jew, one of the twelve Apostles. He is mentioned in a few places in the Bible, notably when at the Last Discourse, when Christ told His apostles that He was going to prepare a place for them to which they might also come, because they knew the place and the way.

Thomas pleaded that they did not know where He was going so they did not know the way.

Jesus replied, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." (John 14:6)

And he got his title of "Doubting Thomas" when, after the Resurrection, on the evening of the first day of the week, Christ appeared among them in the Upper Room, even though the doors were locked.

Thomas was not present on that occasion, and later he was told that the Lord had appeared to the other Apostles. His response was "I will never believe it without probing the nail prints in His hands, putting my finger in the nail marks, and my hand into His side!"

A week later, the Disciples were once more in the room and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came and stood before them. "Peace be with you", He said; then, to Thomas, "Take your finger and examine my hands, put your hand into my side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe."

Thomas said in reply, "My Lord and my God!"

Jesus said to him, "You became a believer because you saw Me. Blest are they who have not seen and have believed." (John 20:24-29)

Thomas was also present on another occasion when Our Lord appeared at the Lake of Tiberias, when a miraculous catch of fish happened. Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the two sons of Zebedee and two other disciples had been fishing all night and had caught nothing.

Early in the morning Jesus stood on the shore, but they did not recognise Him.

He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you caught any fish?"

"No", they replied.

Jesus said , "Cast your net out to starboard, and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish they had caught. (John 21)

Tradition says that Thomas was sent to evangelise the Parthians, Medes and Persians, and eventually reached India, bringing the faith to the Malabar Coast.

He shed his blood for his Master, being speared to death at a place called Calamine.

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