St. Thomas, Apostle and Martyr, is best known as “Doubting Thomas,” but his faith and personality were much deeper than his doubts.
In John’s Gospel, we learn more about Thomas’ character than we do about most of the other Twelve Apostles. Through Thomas’ outspoken nature, much is revealed about him, and about Our Lord. 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).
During the conversation before the Last Supper, St. Thomas raised an objection: Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:5-7)
These words of Jesus, first directed to Thomas, are a major tenet of the Catholic Faith.
St. Thomas is most often associated with his skepticism when the other Apostles announced Christ’s Resurrection to him.
But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (John 20:24-29).
St. Thomas is also recognized as the apostle who baptized the Magi. After the Magi held the Holy Infant, the Blessed Mother gave them some of His baby clothes to bring back to the East as relics. The Magi returned to the East, to Persia, and in the year 40 A.D., were baptized there by Saint Thomas the Apostle. All three Magi, Saint Gaspar, Saint Melchior and Saint Balthasar, were martyred for the Catholic Faith.
St. Thomas, too, died as a martyr, stabbed with a spear in India, 72 A.D. He is the patron of architects; blind people; construction workers; Ceylon; East Indies; geometricians; India; masons; Pakistan; Sri Lanka; stone masons; stonecutters; surveyors; theologians; and against doubt.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Let our prayer today be that of St. Thomas, upon seeing you truly present in our midst in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, may we proclaim in our hearts and on our lips, “My Lord and my God.”
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Irenaeus (203), Bishop, Martyr
St. Leo II (683), Pope