Name: St Thomas
Feast Day: July 3
Patronage: Architects, Builders, Cooks, women seeking a husband.
Death: 72AD Mylapore, Chennai, India
Shrines: Mylapore, Chennai, India; Monastery of St John the Theologian, Patmos; Cathedral of St Thomas the Apostle, Ortona, Italy; Shrine in Edessa, modern Turkey.
Customs: The Feast of St Thomas was previously celebrated on December 21 and was a day of preparation for Christmas.
In some parts of the world, it was known as ‘Pie Day’, referring to the baking of pies, which would be eaten on Epiphany.
Scripture and Life Story:
After the Resurrection, St Thomas was not with the others when Christ appeared to them.
St Thomas said:
“Unless I see the marks of the nails in his hands, unless I put my finger into the place where the nails were, and my hand into his side, I will not believe it” (John 20: 25)
When Christ appeared to St Thomas the next day, he believed and exclaimed:
“My Lord and my God” (John 25: 28)
St Thomas is mentioned in multiple other important moments in the Gospels, including the Last Supper and the journey to Bethany.
St Ephrem the Syrian wrote in the 4th century that St Thomas was martyred in India and his relics were taken to Edessa, in upper Mesopotamia, in modern day Turkey.
The Shrine in Edessa was destroyed when the Zengid Turks conquered the city in 1144AD.
St Augustine of Hippo wrote: “Thomas doubted, to allay our doubts.”
Pope St Gregory the Great wrote: “The doubt of Thomas is of more benefit to us in our search for Faith, than the faith of the disciples who believed.”
With thanks to Rev Dr Paul Stenhouse MSC, Whatever happened to the twelve apostles? (2006, Chevalier Press)