St Thomas History
St. Thomas was one of Jesus' disciples. He is best known for being the one disciple who wanted proof of Jesus' resurrection. St. Thomas is celebrated with a feast day in both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. He is often referred to as Doubting Thomas, and also the name The Twin.
Many Christians see themselves in St. Thomas because he doubted the resurrection until he received proof from Christ himself. He also confessed to not understanding Jesus when Christ told his disciples at the Last Supper that he was preparing a place for them.
St Thomas Facts
- An early church text claims that Thomas was the only witness to the Assumption of Mary into heaven. As her body entered heaven, she dropped her girdle. Medieval art often depicts Thomas catching the girdle.
- Thomas didn't believe the apostles when they saw Jesus the first time after the resurrection. He saw Jesus himself during his second appearance, and touched the wounds on his hands and side (John 20:24-29).
- Church tradition says that Thomas traveled to eastern lands, including Persia, to evangelize to the people there about Jesus. He is thought to have settled in India.
- The feast day is held July 3, but sermons the following Sunday may also mention St. Thomas and faith.
Originally the feast day for St. Thomas was on Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year. All sorts of traditions surrounded the day, including serving meat pies and charitable giving.
St Thomas Top Events and Things to Do
- Read writings by St. Thomas. Several early church documents bearing Thomas' name are popular, including the Gospel of Thomas, which is a collection of Jesus' sayings. Other texts include the Acts of Thomas and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. None of these texts were included in the Bible.
- Thousands of Indians claim to be descendants of the Christians that Thomas helped to convert. Join them on a pilgrimage in Paylador to the traditional spot of Thomas' tomb, Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral of the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Trichur (Kerala, India).
- If you are a single woman try a an ancient custom performed on the Feast of St. Thomas to get an idea who you will marry. Unmarried Austrian women would climb into bed over a stool, throw their shoes with toes pointing downward toward the bedroom door, and then sleep with their head at the foot of the bed. Women who performed this ritual were thought to dream about their future husbands.
- Say a blessing prayer for your property on the feast of St. Thomas. A ancient custom was for farmers and their sons or hands to drive off evil spirits in preparation for Christmas. They were sprinkling holy water across the land, while other family members stayed inside and prayed the rosary.