Wednesday 7th October 2015

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas The Apostle

July 1, 2014 saints No Comments


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

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Synod Showdown Report—October 5, 2015

We’re just out of the first press briefing of the Synod 2015, and things have pretty much picked up where they ended last year. The lead story, if you want to say there’s a lead to this, was a question…Continue Reading

Gov. Brown signs controversial assisted-suicide bill

Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths. Brown appeared to struggle in…Continue Reading

Someone is Lying About the Pope’s Meeting with Kim Davis

Papal spokesman Father Thomas Rosica flatly denies Kim Davis met privately with Pope Francis when he visited Washington, D.C. which stands in flat contradiction to Davis’s claims. In Roscia’s telling Davis was part of a large number of people as…Continue Reading

Top Universities Defend Research Using Body Parts From Aborted Babies

Some of America’s top universities have signed a letter urging states not to support legislation that would ban the sale of aborted babies for research. The letter comes after ten videos surfaced exposing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business, along with…Continue Reading

Catholic Hospitals Sued For Refusing Emergency Care To Pregnant Women

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday announced that it is suing Trinity Health Corporation, which operates 80 hospitals nationwide, for refusing to provide pregnant women suffering from life-threatening emergency complications with abortions. Trinity Health hospitals have “repeatedly and systematically…Continue Reading

Too Scared to Pray? ISIL Cancels Prayers for Fear of Russian Airstrikes

The Islamic State terror group cancelled Friday prayers in the Syrian city of Raqqa and emptied mosques there out of fear of further Russian airstrikes, according to activists and city residents. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,…Continue Reading

Putin defends Russia’s ban on youth-focused gay propaganda: ‘I believe we should leave kids in peace’

MOSCOW, September 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In 2013, Russia passed an amendment to the country’s Child Protection Law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” which also safeguards children from being adopted by homosexuals. Western governments, led by the…Continue Reading

EXPOSED: The billionaire Planned Parenthood donor who wants his donations kept very, very secret

Sept. 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Three weeks after I left my job at the clinic, Planned Parenthood took me to court. I am always asked, “Why would they take you to court? Did they have something to hide?” Well, yes.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Brought Back Into Roman Curia By Pope Francis

Raymond Cardinal Burke has been re-appointed to Congregation for the Causes of Saints from which he had been removed in December of 2013.

The Secret Meeting of the Papal Trip

Washington, D.C. One meeting during Pope Francis’ whirlwind trip to America has remained secret. Until now. It was, arguably, the most significant meeting, symbolically, of the entire trip. It should, therefore, be brought to the attention of the public, both…Continue Reading

Angry Pope Blasts Mayor of Rome as a ‘Pretend Catholic’

Pope Francis raised eyebrows in Italy on Tuesday by slapping down the left-leaning mayor of Rome as someone who “pretends to be Catholic”. The unforgiving assessment of Ignazio Marino — a man the Italian media love to hate — further…Continue Reading

Bishop Fellay Petitions Pope Francis

A petition to Pope Francis: uphold marriage! The Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X has just published a petition to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, asking him to publicly defend the institution of holy matrimony. Bishop Fellay…Continue Reading


Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.

  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 145 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

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis makes first direct intervention; was Cardinal Erdö undermined?

Pope Francis makes first direct intervention; was Cardinal Erdö undermined? There appear to be two main contingents at the Synod: one favoring the proclamation of the fullness of the truth to be taught with clarity and Christian charity; and the other favoring mercy at any and all costs October 06, 2015 03:00 EST Fr Nicholas Gregoris Pope Francis arrives for the morning session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct.…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 2


(Vatican Radio) Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. opened the daily press conference by explaining what had happened in the morning session. He said that the general secretary of the Synod, Cardinal Baldisseri, had explained “certain processes of the methodology” and its new elements. Lombardi said that Pope Francis also thought it was important for him to make a contribution and so he too said a few words. “The Holy Father thought it important to say that…Continue Reading

Card. Alencherry: pastors called to prophetic role

(Vatican Radio) The third General Congregation of the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops opened on Tuesday morning with the celebration of Terce (mid-morning prayer). The homily for the Liturgy was delivered by Cardinal George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Major Archbishop and President of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church. In his homily, Cardinal Alencherry reminded the Synod Fathers that “the pastors of the Church in the present times are called to take…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 1


(Vatican Radio) The first of the daily press conferences to report on the proceedings of the Synod of the Family took place at 1pm Rome time on Monday. The Synod began on Sunday with a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica and the first session sat on Monday morning. Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, was accompanied by Cardinal Péter Erdö from Hungary – who is the…Continue Reading

Liberty Counsel Says . . . Pope’s Words And Meetings Support Conscientious Objection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Liberty Counsel issued the following statement on October 2: Mat Staver, county clerk Kim Davis’ attorney, is the chairman of Liberty Counsel: + + + Despite a statement this morning by a Vatican official, the Pope’s own words about conscientious objection being a human right and his private meeting with Kim Davis…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Ideal Artist

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Santayana, George. The Life of Reason: Reason in Art. A critical edition, co-edited by M.S. Wokeck and M.A. Coleman. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2015. lvi + 276 pp. The Life of Reason is Volume VII, Book Four, of the Collected Works of George Santayana. Professor James Gouinlock of Emory University…Continue Reading

Why Isn’t Kim Davis A Hero To The Left?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I have been waiting for weeks now for the keepers of the flame in the liberal establishment to express some begrudging admiration for Kim Davis’ decision to go to jail, rather than violate her conscience by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky. Or at least some ambiguity over what…Continue Reading

What’s In A Motto?

By DONALD DeMARCO Pope St. John Paul II’s 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio is a thorough and thoughtful discussion of the harmony between “faith” and “reason.” It does not break new ground but reaffirms to a modern audience what St. Thomas Aquinas and more recent thinkers such as Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson have carefully…Continue Reading

Non-Catholic Communities As “Means Of Salvation”

By FR. BRIAN W. HARRISON, OS Many dissident traditionalists claim that Vatican Council II’s Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio (UR) is irreconcilable with traditional Catholic doctrine. The passage most commonly singled out in support of this claim is the affirmation in article 3 of the Decree that “the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Pope Francis’ Visit Leaves Us Blessed And Strengthened

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The chair under me is rolling from starboard to port and back as I write to you this week because I do so aboard the USS San Antonio at sea. In my ministry here I am following through on something Pope Francis has asked of all of us: I am seeking souls at the periphery.…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Church Of Christ Is Universal, For Everyone

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 22 It is true that Jesus came first for the Jews. Many individuals accepted Him, like the apostles, disciples, and their converts, but as a nation they refused Him. So the apostles spread their mission to the Gentiles — that means, to our ancestors. But even if the Jews had accepted Him, the apostles would…Continue Reading

Mission Of The Catholic Laity: Priest, Prophet, And King

By DON FIER Thus far in our examination of the vocation of the laity in the mission of the Church, it has become manifestly clear that theirs is a role that is distinctive and indispensable. Characterized especially by their secular nature, it pertains in a unique way to the lay faithful “to illuminate and order all temporal things with which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Recently we got a new pastor who has resumed the holding of hands during the Our Father that our previous pastor had eliminated. Has this now become part of the liturgy? And what is the purpose of the holding hands to begin with? Also, what do you think of “Polka Masses”? — C.G., Wisconsin. A. No, holding hands during…Continue Reading

Wisdom Is Worth More Than Gold

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11 Heb. 4:12-13 Mark 10:17-30 In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that no creature is concealed from God, but that everything is naked and exposed to Him to whom we must render an account. We know from the Gospels that our Lord, on several…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. John XXIII

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Although rare, it is not unknown for a poor man, who had no connections and did not seek to develop them, to rise above all other men in stature and in influence over mankind. Such was the case of the sharecroppers’ son, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, he was obedient and kind, but…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas of Hereford

By CAROLE BRESLIN During the High Middle Ages the power of kings began to disintegrate, as shown by the Magna Charta, which was established in 1215. Although neither party of the agreement held up to its commitments, the beginning of more democratic rule had arrived. Three years later a noble family gave birth to a man who played a significant…Continue Reading