Sunday 26th March 2017

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas The Apostle

July 1, 2014 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

There are so many saints named St. Thomas that it is a common practice to call them all by more than Thomas, such as Thomas à Becket, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas More, or any one of the more than 30 others listed in the 1981 edition of Butler’s Lives of the Saints. (I always felt sorry for the good apostle named Judas [Jude] because the other Judas, the betrayer, rather ruined it for him since Judas became a name associated with a person of evil and betrayal.)
It is somewhat curious that St. Thomas the Apostle, about whom there is little known, has had so many famous saints named after him.
Although Thomas is not mentioned much in the first three Gospels, he played significant roles in St. John’s Gospel. In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Thomas is only mentioned when the list of the twelve apostles is recorded. In St. John’s Gospel, however, we find a clearer picture of his nature. The incidents bring to light what may be the two most well-known passages in Holy Scripture.
History has provided little information on the origin of St. Thomas the Apostle except that he was most likely from Galilee and of common birth. His name in Greek, Didymus, is the equivalent of the Syriac name which means twin. However, no evidence has been found that he had a twin.
Thomas seems to have been something of a skeptic. As later events would demonstrate, he had to be thoroughly convinced before he accepted the statements that people made.
In the Gospel of John, as mentioned previously, he is associated with two famous lines of Holy Scripture. In the 11th chapter of the Gospel of John, a messenger arrived to tell Jesus that Lazarus was ill. His sisters begged Jesus to come and cure him. Even though Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, He hesitated and delayed His journey.
Ultimately, He informed His disciples that they would go to Bethany. Thomas spoke up. They all knew that the Jewish leaders wanted to do away with Jesus. Naturally they did not want Him to die. However, supernaturally, Thomas had another idea. Rather than trying to convince Jesus not to go and risk death — since Peter was so soundly rebuked for suggesting avoidance of His destiny — Thomas turned to the other eleven and exclaimed, “Let us go, that we may die with him!”
Such love he had for Jesus — for His merciful love and wisdom — that he wanted to die with Him. The twelve went with Jesus but Jesus did not face an immediate threat at that time. Instead He stunned those present in Bethany when He raised Lazarus from the dead, which turned out to be the last straw for the elders who immediately began to finalize the plans for His death.
A few days later, Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with the apostles. During the last discourse which John has recorded in such marvelous detail, Jesus told the apostles that they could not go where He was going but that He would prepare a place for them. Jesus told them, “Where I go you know.”
To this Thomas responded by asking the question, “Lord, we do not know where you are going and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5).
Then our Lord turned to Thomas and said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
So much of evangelization and catechesis is based upon these words: The way, the truth, and the life. The Holy Scriptures are the word of God and the Holy Eucharist is the substance of God. Surely our Lord could have proclaimed this truth without the prodding of Thomas, but by God’s Providence, it was Thomas who was not afraid to admit his ignorance of these most profound issues.
Thank you, St. Thomas, for showing us that we should not be afraid to ask.
In chapter 20 of St. John’s Gospel, our Lord had risen from the dead and had appeared to the ten apostles in the Upper Room where the Last Supper had been held. For some reason, Thomas was not there. When the other apostles related the visit that Jesus had paid to them, Thomas does not believe. Forever after the name “doubting Thomas” has been given to those who do not believe a statement of fact.
When our Lord appeared again, Thomas was present. It is hard to discount the Resurrection when it is so clearly demonstrated by Thomas’ skeptical reaction at first and then his bold proclamation of faith when he saw our Lord and Jesus invited Thomas to place his fingers in the holes of the nails and his hand in His side.
By Thomas’ expressing his doubt of Christ actually rising from the dead and then being convinced that it was true, the Bible shows us that their faith was not credulous but very credible — that there are reasonable grounds for believing in the Resurrection.
Thomas simply says it all, “My Lord and My God.” Words that echo down through the centuries at the elevation of the Host during the consecration of the Mass.
Thomas is mentioned again as one of those at the Sea of Galilee when Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him.
“There were together Simon Peter and Thomas, called the Twin, and Nathanael, from Cana in Galilee and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples” (John 21:2).
The last time Thomas is mentioned in the Bible took place just after the Ascension. He was among those named who were in the Upper Room once again praying as instructed for the coming of the Holy Spirit before Pentecost. “And when they entered the city, they mounted to the upper room where were staying Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon the Zealot, and Jude, the brother of James” (Acts 1:13).
Little documentation of the rest of Thomas’ life exists. However, there seems to be a common consensus that he went to Asia to spread the Gospel. Several independent accounts confirm he definitely went to India. Even Catholic Indians talk of the heritage left by St. Thomas. Most likely Thomas preached the Gospel to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, and Hyrcanians.
He ended his days when he was martyred in India. On July 3 the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle.
Dear St. Thomas, thank you for your credible faith. Pray for us that we may not shrink from proclaiming the word of God to all far and near. When we doubt, obtain for us the grace of being confirmed in our faith. May we always be quick to humbly say, “My Lord and my God.” Amen.

+    +    +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Raymond Desouza . . . Shield of Faith PART 4

Chris Manion . . . European Union's Demographic Whimper; Vatican Hosts The Enemy; Can Rogue Federal Judiciary Be Controlled?

 

Chaput: Everyone who’s a legal citizen should come pray for immigrants

Philadelphia, Pa., Mar 18, 2017 / 05:32 am (CNA).- As fears of deportation threaten to keep many immigrants home from a prayer service on Sunday, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is calling on citizens and legal residents to attend the…Continue Reading

Rabbi says Pope’s homilies could threaten Catholic-Jewish relations

March 13, 2017 An Italian rabbi has raised a protest against the topic of a conference to be held by the Italian Bibilical Association: “Israel, people of a jealous God. Consistencies and ambiguities of an elitist religion.” Rabbi Giuseppe Laras…Continue Reading

This man drives for Uber to spread the pro-life message

TROY, Ohio, March 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – As an abortion abolitionist, Bryan Kemper wears many different hats – including sharing the pro-life message while driving for Uber. “I am in an area where I drive a lot of college students…Continue Reading

The secret obsession that will destroy modern feminism

March 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – What does it mean to be a woman? Planned Parenthood and the modern-day feminist movement are profoundly confused about this. Today is International Women’s Day. Planned Parenthood and its allies would have people believe that…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood refuses Trump offer to give up abortions and keep funding

March 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood has declined an offer from President Trump to keep – and possibly increase – its federal funding in exchange for ceasing to commit abortions. The proposal was an “impossibility” for Planned Parenthood officials,…Continue Reading

Pope’s Address to Roman Clergy (Part I)

The Holy Father’s Meditation The Progress of Faith in the Life of a Priest “Lord, increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). This question arose spontaneously in the disciples when the Lord was speaking to them of mercy and said that we…Continue Reading

Southern MN Catholic diocese files bankruptcy over abuse claims

MINNEAPOLIS — The Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday, the 14th U.S.  Catholic diocese nationwide and third in Minnesota to do so in the face of mounting claims of sexual abuse by clergy. The…Continue Reading

Trump hit with ultimatum on global ‘atrocity’

An organization representing the sentiments of more than a quarter-million Americans is asking the nation’s new U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, to urge the global body to launch a campaign to protect Christians and other Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/trump-insider-hit-with-plea-to-stop-genocide-of-christians/#5TeczOEyZqlCUFew.99

Cardinal Cupich: No Immigration Agents In Catholic Churches Without Warrant

CHICAGO — Archbishop Blase Cupich told Chicago’s Catholic priests Tuesday not to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on to church property without a warrant. In a letter to the archdiocese’s priests, Cupich said the Archdiocese of Chicago “stands in…Continue Reading

Scholas Occurrentes: Another Vatican-Soros Connection?

After our recent report about Pope Francis’ praise of a Soros-funded left-wing organization called PICO — People Improving Communities through Organizing — we have been informed by some Spanish-speaking sources about a connection between Pope Francis’ papal foundation Scholas Occurrentes…Continue Reading

Ohio bishops support bill protecting clergy’s religious liberty in same-sex ‘marriage’

COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — In a rare move of legislative activism, all of Ohio’s Roman Catholic bishops officially expressed support for the state’s proposed Pastor Protection Act (HB-36). The Catholic Conference of Ohio (CCO) testified last week…Continue Reading

Leaders call for Catholic sanctuary movement to blunt deportation crackdown

MODESTO, Calif. (CNS) — The push for sanctuary was on a lot of minds at the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements. Concerns about President Donald Trump’s intention to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants rose throughout the Feb. 16-19…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Analysis: Did Pope Francis just condemn Communion for the remarried?

The Pope’s statements have the internet abuzz – but their importance has been exaggerated For the last couple of days Catholic social media and the blogosphere have been preoccupied with some reported remarks by Pope Francis. The remarks carry weight because they come from an impeccable source – the president of the Chilean bishops’ conference, Bishop Santiago Silva, and its secretary Bishop Fernando Ramos – and because they relate to the great ecclesial controversy of the moment:…Continue Reading

Bishop Olmsted Makes Winning Case for Catholic Education

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix has issued a clarion call for Catholic education that focuses on its central mission: the evangelization of young people. “The most loving thing a Catholic school can do is to share with each person the living Jesus Christ,” Bishop Olmsted writes in a recently published apostolic letter. Promulgated on March 3, the feast day of St. Katharine Drexel, Bishop

Cardinal Cupich tells national TV audience: Church ‘stands with’ immigrants

Town Hall meetings are out of fashion for certain Republican congressmen who have spent the start of 2017 dodging Democratic Party activists. But Cardinal Blase Cupich got an altogether warmer reception when he used a nationally broadcast town hall this weekend to tell recent immigrants, “the church stands with you.”

Gorsuch defends Hobby Lobby, religious freedom at confirmation hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Sen. Orin Hatch, R-UT, gave Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch the chance to explain how an important religious freedom law is applied today in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Regarding whether the Obama administration’s birth control mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), Gorsuch ruled it “failed to meet RFRA’s standard,” Hatch recalled. While on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch sided with the majority in Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius. The…Continue Reading

House bill’s ‘life protections’ said laudable, other aspects ‘troubling’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The inclusion of “critical life protections” in the House health care bill is laudable, but other provisions, including those related to Medicaid and tax credits, are “troubling” and “must be addressed” before the measure is passed, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic policy committee. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, who is chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, sent a letter March 17 to…Continue Reading

Finally Fitting In

By DONALD DeMARCO MWhen he was lecturing at the University of Chicago, Mortimer Adler identified himself as a Jew teaching Catholic philosophy at a Protestant school to a class of atheists. The image of not quite fitting in was characteristic of Adler’s life, though he was never one to complain about it. The absence of…Continue Reading

Sheriff And Judge… Arpaio’s Criminal-Contempt Trial Brings Familiar Faces To The Courtroom

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Joe Arpaio and Susan Bolton were companions in the news here in 2010. Arpaio, the longtime elected Republican sheriff of Phoenix’s Maricopa County, and Bolton, a federal judge here nominated by President Bill Clinton, both were prominent figures as Arizona legislators tried to discourage illegal immigration, but open-borders street mobs…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… The Early History Of The Eugenics Movement

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of more than a thousand pro-eugenics quotes, including those by Margaret Sanger, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “The eugenic movement, therefore, cannot be a short campaign like many political…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred The High Drama Of Palm Sunday

By JAMES MONTI As we advance through the later days of Lent, it is certainly not too soon to begin turning our attention to the days for which we are preparing, beginning with Palm Sunday, the great portal to Holy Week. Palm Sunday is one of the solemnities of highest drama in the liturgical year.…Continue Reading

The Pelosi Principle

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: This column was released March 15, one day before the House Budget Committee narrowly approved the Republican health-care bill.) + + + Suppose the federal government confiscated 90 percent of the income of every private sector worker who earned more than the poverty level. Then suppose the government used…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Eucharist: Sacramental Sacrifice

By DON FIER Part 4 As we continued our consideration of the Holy Eucharist as a sacramental sacrifice last week, we saw that this most august “Sacrament of sacraments” is not only a sacrificial memorial (making present) of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross on Calvary, but “is also the sacrifice of the Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In a recent reply, you essentially condemn suicide bombers to Hell. However, if a person really believes in the righteousness of something strong enough to die for it, even if it is objectively evil, is he not acting in good conscience? The Church has never declared that a particular person is in Hell, not even Judas. — T.F.B., California.…Continue Reading

Die To Sin And Live In Righteousness

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifth Sunday Of Lent (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 37:12-14 Romans 8:8-11 John 11:1-45 As we draw near to the end of Lent, there is more that is removed from our senses when we come to Mass. The statues are covered, the music is supposed to be more solemn, the Mass itself is more simplified; everything is…Continue Reading

Sermon XXXIX: On Lent I

By POPE ST. LEO I (AD 390-461) (Editor’s Note: This sermon was delivered during the Lenten fast by Pope Leo the Great, whose date of birth is cited as AD 400 as well as AD 390. This is a translation of a sermon from Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Second Series: volume XII, in the public domain. We have generally…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Contraception Dooms Secularism While Religion Grows

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Is the Trump victory, with the accompanying new wave of sexual morality and respect for life, the first hint of a societal sea change born, ironically, of contraception? It turns out that religious people have more babies and thus pass on the faith while secularists are self-obsolescing. It’s “news” that seculars are dying out because…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Toribio Alfonso De Mogrovejo

By CAROLE BRESLIN Those who wish to attack the Catholic Church usually bring up two “weapons”: the Crusades and the Inquisition, which started in the Middle Ages. The Spanish Inquisition had the most just procedures and did not exile the Jewish people the way England (in 1290) and France (in 1306) did. In the late 16th century, King Philip II…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. José Gabriel Del Rosario Brochero

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the tip of the South American continent lies one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with its towering Andes Mountains, lush valleys, beautiful plateaus, and colorful glaciers. (Los Glaciares National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Andes Mountains.) Argentina, the eighth largest country in the world, established its nationhood in the…Continue Reading