The Patron Saint

  • Johnson
  • February 18, 2019

The Patron Saint

Thomas the Apostle (Biblical Hebrew: תומאס הקדוש‎; Greek: Θωμάς; Coptic: ⲑⲱⲙⲁⲥ; Classical Syriac: ܬܐܘܡܐ ܫܠܝܚܐ‎ Thoma Shliha; also called Didymus which means Twin was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, according to the New Testament.

Thomas is informally referred to as “Doubting Thomas” because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection when first told (in the Gospel of John account only), followed later by his confession of faith, “My Lord and my God,” on seeing Jesus’ wounded body.

Traditionally, Thomas is believed to have travelled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, travelling as far as Tamilakam which are the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in present-day India. According to tradition, Thomas reached Muziris, (modern-day North Paravur and Kodungalloor in the state of Kerala, India) in AD 50 and converted several people, founding what today are known as Saint Thomas Christians or Mar Thoma Nazranis. After his death, the reputed relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle were enshrined as far as Mesopotamia in the 3rd century, and later moved to various places. 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 Thoma remains quite popular among Saint Thomas Christians of India.

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