Facts of the Apostle Saint Thomas

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St. Thomas Facts

Thomas the Apostle Facts tell us that Thomas usually was nicknamed “Doubting Thomas,” Thomas was also called Didymus, meaning The Twin (although a twin brother or sister is never mentioned in the Bible.)

He was an outspoken skeptic to the point of being known as a pessimist.

No details are given about Thomas in the first three Gospels other than the mention of his name.

John’s first mention of Thomas is in John 11:16. Lazarus had died and the disciples feared for the life of Jesus and themselves if they were to go back to Bethany.

  • “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” (John 11:16 NASB)

Thomas speaks up.

Here we see the character quality of courage and loyalty to Christ, a quality not often attributed to Thomas.

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Symbol of Saint Thomas

Apostle Thomas Facts  and Symbol

Thomas the Apostle Facts gives us the knowledge that apostle Thomas is most famous for disbelieving the news that Jesus had risen from the dead. The disciples came to him, and they told him about Jesus.

He said,

“Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, Thomas sees the Lord, and he cries,

“My Lord and my God!”

Thomas was also the spokesman for the disciples in the gospel of John. When Jesus went to Judea to raise Lazarus from the dead, Thomas said,

“Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Tradition has it that Thomas traveled east as far as India to preach the gospel. He founded several churches in the country, and there are some that still claim a history directly from him. He may have traveled almost as far as Chennai, known as Madras at the time.

Thomas was martyred in India by stoning and by a spear. His symbol has a spear to symbolize his death, and there is also a carpenter’s square pointing to the churches he founded. Legend even has it that he built a church building himself.

Quick Thomas the Apostle Facts

His nickname is Didymus (the twin). We don’t really know why he’s called this. He could have been a twin, he could have born a strong physical resemblance to Jesus, or it could have been the name he went by in Greek-speaking communities.

The apocryphal Acts of Thomas suggests that Thomas is actually Jesus’ twin, but that would create a few big theological problems concerning Jesus’ conception and incarnation process.

  • Thomas is mentioned in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts as one of the twelve (Mt 10:3; Mk 3:18; Lk 6:15; Ac 1:13), but that’s all these accounts say about him. The Gospel of John, however, gives Thomas a larger role in the story.
  • Thomas is the original “Doubting Thomas.” When the other disciples tell him Jesus has risen, Thomas dismisses the idea. He won’t believe Jesus is alive unless he can physically see the nail and spear wounds in Jesus’ body (Jn 20:24–25).
  • When Jesus grants Thomas the evidence he wants, Thomas exclaims, “My Lord and my God!” This is an important line in the book of John: the story of Thomas shows us that Jesus’ resurrection proves His divinity. This is what Jesus expects His followers to believe about Him (Jn 20:26–29).
  • Thomas sets Jesus up for the memorable “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” line (Jn 14:5–6).
  • Him (Jn 20:26–29). Thomas sets Jesus up for the memorable “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” line (Jn 14:5–6). Don’t let the “Doubting Thomas” story fool you: Thomas shows a lot of bravery and leadership at one point in John’s gospel. When Jesus heads to Judea (where the Jews are seeking to kill Him), Thomas says to the other disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him” (Jn 11:16).
  • Thomas is one of the six apostles whom Jesus visits at the sea of Galilee after His resurrection (Jn 21:2–3).
  • When Luke lists the twelve, he couples Thomas with Matthew in his Gospel, and with Philip in the book of Acts (Lk 6:15; Ac 1:13). It’s possible that Thomas worked closely with these two apostles.
  • According to tradition, Thomas takes the gospel to India, where he is martyred by a spear. Jesus’ spear wounds were the evidence Thomas needed to believe, but Thomas’ spear wounds are the evidence of his faith.
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Domínikos Theotokópoulos, dit Le Greco 1541-1614 Tolède. Apostle Saint Thomas ca 1608 Toledo Museo del Greco.

Apostle Thomas’ Miracles

Thomas the Apostle Facts state that Saint Thomas is most famous for how he interacted with Jesus Christ after the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The Bible records in John chapter 20 that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to some of His disciples while they were together, but Thomas wasn’t with the group at the time.

Verse 25 describes Thomas’s reaction when the disciples told him the news:

So the other disciples told him,

‘We have seen the Lord!’

But he said to them,

‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’

Shortly afterwards, the resurrected Jesus appeared to Thomas and invited him to examine his crucifixion scars and in exactly the way Thomas had requested. John 20:26-27 records: “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them.

Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.'”

After getting the physical proof he’d wanted of the resurrection miracle, Thomas’s doubt turned to strong belief: Thomas said to him,

‘My Lord and my God!'” (John 20:28).

The next verse reveals that Jesus blesses people who are willing to have faith in something that they can’t see right now:

Then Jesus told him,

‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ (John 20:29).

Thomas’s encounter with Jesus shows how the right response to doubt — curiosity and searching — can lead to deep belief.

Catholic tradition says that Thomas witnessed the miraculous ascension into heaven of Saint Mary (the Virgin Mary) after her death.

Apostle Thomas Facts on Miracles

Thomas the Apostle Facts show that God performed many miracles through Thomas to help the people with whom Thomas shared the Gospel message — in Syria, Persia, and India — believe, according to Christian tradition.

Right before his death in 72 AD, Thomas stood up to an Indian king (whose wife had become a Christian) when he pressured Thomas to make religious sacrifices to an idol.

Miraculously, the idol shattered into pieces when Thomas was forced to approach it. The king was so enraged that he ordered his high priest to kill Thomas, and he did: Thomas died from being pierced by a spear but was reunited with Jesus in heaven

But you can still call him Thomas.

Prayer to Saint Thomas The Apostle

saint thomas prayer
O Glorious Saint Thomas, your grief for Jesus was such that it would not let you believe he had risen unless you actually saw him and touched his wounds. But your love for Jesus was equally great and it led you to give up your life for him. Pray for us that we may grieve for our sins which were the cause of Christ’s sufferings. Help us to spend ourselves in his service and so earn the title of “blessed” which Jesus applied to those who would believe in him without seeing him. Amen.

Conclusion Thomas the Apostle Facts

In conclusion, Thomas the Apostle facts have shared more light that the phrase “doubting Thomas” comes from Thomas the disciple in that he was particularly slow to believe in Christ.

Thomas is also characterized by being somewhat gloomy and easily discouraged. While he was much of a pessimist Thomas was a full believer in Christ and followed Him loyally throughout His life. Thomas is known for being unable to see the forest for the trees and Jesus often had to help him to see the whole forest.

Thomas is the one disciple who was not present on the first Easter Sunday.

Thomas was the disciple who refused to believe in resurrection but he went on to spread the word of Christ until his death. It is believed that Thomas died the death of a martyr but this cannot be verified.

Resources Thomas the Apostle Facts

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