Thomas (St.) the Apostle

   The Twenty-first Day of December is observed in memory of St. Thomas, who was called by our Lord to be an Apostle. We find very little in Holy Scripture concerning St. Thomas, but there are four sayings of his recorded which are indicative of his character. They are as follows:
   1. "Lord we know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way?" -- St. John 14:5.
   2. "Let us also go, that we may die with Him." -- St. John 11:16.
   3. "Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails and put my fingers in the print of the nails and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe." -- St. John 20:25.
   4. "My Lord and my God." -- St. John 20:28.
   From these sayings we see in St. Thomas, (1) the spirit of inquiry, (2) bravery in the face of danger, (3) his doubt and unbelief, and (4) strong conviction and the triumph of faith. An ancient writer declared that "by this doubting of St. Thomas we are more confirmed in our belief than by the faith of the other Apostles." It is upon this fact that the Collect for the Day is founded. St. Thomas is said to have carried the Gospel to the Parthians, Medes, Persians and Chaldeans, among whom he founded the Church. It is believed, also, that he preached the Gospel in India. He suffered martyrdom, having been put to death by the Brahmins at Taprobane, now called Sumatra. In ecclesiastical art, St. Thomas is represented as handling our Lord's wounds; or in reference to his martyrdom, with a lance or spear; also, holding a carpenter's square.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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