The Holy Apostle Thomas
We liturgically recall the memory of the holy apostle Thomas today.
The Byzantine Church prays in her troparion for Saint Thomas:
You were a disciple of Christ,
A co-participant in the divine council of the Apostles,
For you did not believe in the news of the Resurrection of Christ, But you came to believe in His Most Pure Passion by touching. O All Praised Thomas:
Pray for both peace and great mercy for us.
One of Thomas’ biographers had this to say:
One of the 12 Apostles, Thomas, after the Descent of the Holy Spirit, preached the Gospel in Palestine, Mesopotamia and other countries (Jn. 11:16; 14:3-6; 20:19-29; 21:2. Acts 2:2; 8:1-14), everywhere “catching in the net of divine words” “spiritual fish”. According to the witness of St. John Chrysostom, the Apostle Thomas “once was weaker than the other apostles in faith, but became by the good grace of God more courageous, more zealous and more indefatigable than all of them and so has gone out to almost all the earth with his sermon, not being frightened to preach the word of God to furious, wild and bloodthirsty people“. (emphasis added.) In the city of Mylapore (in India) he was pierced with spears for converting the wife and son of the king to Christ. The relics of the Holy Apostle Thomas were translated to the city of Edessa in Mesopotamia. (S. V. Bulgakov, Handbook for Church Servers, 2nd ed. 1274 pp. (Kharkov, 1900) p. 0367 Translated by Archpriest Eugene D. Tarris © 27 September 2004. All rights reserved.)
Another biographer writes thusly of Thomas:
According to Church Tradition, the holy Apostle Thomas founded Christian churches in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Parthia, Ethiopia and India. Preaching the Gospel earned him a martyr’s death. For having converted the wife and son of the prefect of the Indian city of Meliapur [Melipur], the holy apostle was locked up in prison, suffered torture, and finally, pierced with five spears, he departed to the Lord. Part of the relics of the holy Apostle Thomas are in India, in Hungary and on Mt. Athos. The name of the Apostle Thomas is associated with the Arabian (or Arapet) Icon of the Mother of God (September 6).
Happy name day to those named Thomas, Thomasine or Thomasina. Also, let us remember in prayer all of the Christians in India who call themselves the Thomas Christians.
Read the Gospel for today John 20:19-31.