Saint Thomas the Apostle.
1st Century AD
Feast Day: July 3
Saint Thomas the Apostle, Judas Thomas or Didymus, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus and is believed to be the twin brother of Matthew. He was first called Jude the son of James and grandson of Alpheus.
At the Last Supper, Jesus said: "I go to prepare a place for you.... And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." Thomas replied: "Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way?" To this Jesus answered: "I am the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:1-6)
He was absent when the Risen Lord appeared to the other apostles on the evening of Easter Day, and refused to believe that Christ had indeed risen. But when Jesus appeared again on the eighth day after the Resurrection, He told Thomas to put his finger into His wounds, and to believe. The Apostle cried out: "My Lord and my God." And Jesus concluded: "You have come to believe because you have seen Me. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed" (John 21:24-29).
Thomas was given the nickname “doubting Thomas” because he was continually looking at the worst in all things. First, when Jesus announced His intention of returning to Judea to visit Lazarus, "Thomas" who is called Didymus [the twin], said to his fellow disciples: "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (John 11:16).
There is an apocryphal " Gospel of St Thomas" about Jesus' childhood, and from the third century the Persian "Acts of St Thomas" which provides the legend connecting him with India. An old tradition says St. Thomas baptised the wise men - the three kings of Tarsus, Saba and Nubia who subsequently gave their lives in martyrdom.
Prayer to Saint Thomas the Apostle
Dear Saint Thomas, you were once slow in believing that Christ had gloriously risen; but later, because you had seen him, you exclaimed: "My Lord and my God!" According to an ancient story, you rendered most powerful assistance for constructing a church in a place where pagan priests opposed it. Please bless architects, builds and carpenters that through them the Lord may be honored.