Thomas the Apostle bigraphy, stories - Apostle of Jesus Christ

Thomas the Apostle : biography

1st century AD - AD 72

Saint Thomas the Apostle, also called Doubting Thomas or Didymus (meaning "Twin," or "Thomas" in Aramaic) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. He is best known for questioning Jesus' resurrection after death when first told of it, followed by his confession of faith as both "My Lord and my God" on seeing and touching Jesus' tangible and physical wounded body in . Traditionally he is said to have traveled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, traveling as far as India.

According to tradition, the Apostle reached Muziris, India in 52 AD and baptized several people who are today known as Saint Thomas Christians or Nasranis. After his murder and death by spear in India, the remaining relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle were enshrined as far as Mesopotamia in the 3rd century, and later moved to various places. In 1258 they were brought to Abruzzo, in Ortona, Italy, where they have been held in the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle.http://www.gcatholic.org/churches/italy/0164.htm He is often regarded as the Patron Saint of India, and the name Thomas remains quite popular among Saint Thomas Christians of India.

Historical references to Thomas

A 13th-century Armenian illumination, by [[Toros Roslin.]] A number of early Christian writings written during centuries immediately following the first Ecumenical Council of 325 mention Thomas' mission.

  • The Acts of Thomas, sometimes called by its full name The Acts of Judas Thomas: 2nd/3rd century (c. 180–230) Gist of the testimony: The Apostles cast lots as to where they should go, and to Thomas, twin brother of Jesus, fell India. Thomas was taken to king Gondophares the ruler of Indo-Parthian Kingdom as an architect and carpenter by Habban. The journey to India is described in detail. After a long residence in the court at Taxila he ordained leaders for the Church, and left in a chariot for the kingdom of Mazdei. According to the Acts of St. Thomas the Kingdom of Mazdai, in the Southern India, was ruled by King Misdeus. Some Greeks Satraps, the descendents of Alexander the Great, were vassals to the Indo-Parthian Kingdom.Chandragupta Maurya and his times By Radhakumud Mookerji P.28 The king Misdeus was infuriated when St.Thomas converted the Queen Tertia, son Juzanes, sister-in-law princess Mygdonia (a province of Mesopotamia) and her friend Markia. The King Misdeus led St. Thomas outside the city and ordered four soldiers to take him to the nearby hill where the soldiers speared St. Thomas and killed him. Syphorus was elected the first presbyter by the brethren after the death of St. Thomas while Juzanes the prince became the deacon. The names of the King Misdeus, Tertia, Juzanes, Syphorus, Markia and Mygdonia suggest Greek descent or Hellenised Persian descent There, after performing many miracles, he dies a martyr.. During the rule of Vasudeva I, the Kushan emperor, the bones of St. Thomas were transferred from the Mylapore to Edessa. These are generally rejected by various Christian religions as either apocryphal or heretical. The two centuries that lapsed between the life of the apostle and recording this work, casts doubt on their authenticity.
  • Clement of Alexandria: 3rd century (d.c. 235); Church represented: Alexandrian/Greek Biographical Note : Greek Theologian, b. Athens, 150. Clement makes a passing reference to St. Thomas’ Apostolate in Parthia. This agrees with the testimony which Eusebius records about Pantaenus' visit to India.
  • Doctrine of the Apostles 3rd century; Church represented: Syrian Cardinal Mai, Scriptorum Veterum Nova Collectio, Rome, 1838. W. Cureton, Ancient Syriac Documents, London, 1864: Latin Translation by A. Assemani; Vindobonae, 1856; Didascalia in Coptic, Ethiopic, and Arabic. Also see Medlycott, p. 33 ff. “After the death of the Apostles there were Guides and Rulers in the Churches…..They again at their deaths also committed and delivered to their disciples after them everything which they had received from the Apostles;…(also what) Judas Thomas (had written) from India”.
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