3rd july: Saint Thomas the Apostle

Santo_Tomás,_por_Diego_Velázquez

Thomas the Apostle (Biblical Hebrew: תוֹמָאס הקדוש‎; Ancient Greek: Θωμᾶς; also called Didymus (“twin”), was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Thomas is commonly known as “Doubting Thomas” because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection when first told of it (as related in the Gospel of John alone); later, he confessed his faith, “My Lord and my God,” on seeing Jesus’ crucifixion wounds.

According to traditional accounts of the Saint Thomas Christians of modern-day Kerala in India, Thomas is believed to have travelled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, travelling as far as the Malabar Coast which is in modern-day Kerala. According to their tradition, Thomas reached Muziris (modern-day North Paravur and Kodungalloor in the state of Kerala, India) in AD 52. In 1258, some of the relics were brought to Ortona, in Abruzzo, Italy, where they have been held in the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle. He is often regarded as the patron saint of India, and the name Thomas remains quite popular among Saint Thomas Christians of India.

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