St Thomas Day


St. Thomas was one of the twelve Apostles in accordance with the New Testament in the Bible. Saint Thomas Day is observed in honour of Saint Thomas. This celebration dates back to the month of December, twelfth century. The feast date is now modified by Roman Catholic Church to July 3. However, some still Anglicans observe it in December.

St Thomas Day 2023

Mon , 3rd Jul 2023

Saint Thomas- History

St Thomas lived in the first century AD. His name in Aramaic (Teʾoma) and Greek (Didymos) translated to “twin”; John 11:16, He is identified as “Thomas, called the Twin.” He is also called Judas Thomas. After Jesus’s crucifixion, Thomas was sent to India as an architect to design a royal palace. According to Christian tradition, Thomas extended his apostolate to India, on his mission as an architect. He founded the Church of the Syrian Malabar Christians, or Christians of St. Thomas. He preached the gospel all the way through the Malabar coast. He founded various churches mainly along the Periyar River and its tributaries.

St Thomas ordained many leaders and teachers in accordance with the apostolic custom, primarily reporting to the earliest ministry of the Malankara Church. In the apocryphal “Acts of Thomas”, which was originally composed in Syriac, Thomas allegedly visited the court of the Indo-Parthian king Gondophernes, for designing a royal palace and spent all the allotted money for charity which led to imprisonment. This work also records that his martyrdom has occurred under the king of Mylapore in Madras (now Chennai), at San Thomé Cathedral, His traditional burial location. His relics were taken and enshrined at Ortona, Italy.

In India, St Thomas day celebrated in a great manner by Roman Catholics of Kerala and in some parts of the city Chennai. Followers feast on this day, visit the tomb, read prayers/writings from several early church documents bearing Thomas' name like The Gospel of Thomas, which is a collection of Jesus' sayings, other texts from the Acts of Thomas and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

Traditionally, in rural England, youngsters and the aged would go from door to door requesting donations for the poor, serve meat pie to the hungry. In Germany, Holland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia St Thomas is observed on December 21, and many customs are in place for this feast; one of the common traditions being, “driving out demons” where people believed loud noises fled demons, so they rang loud bells, cracked whips, and staged boisterous parades in frightening masks. 

Significance of “Doubting Thomas”

Saint Thomas earned the title ‘Doubting Thomas’ because he doubted Jesus' resurrection when he was first told about it; later, he confessed his faith ("My Lord and my God") on seeing Jesus' crucifixion wounds. The passage describing this incident is one of the emotional and touching scriptures.

Pope St. Gregory the Great makes the following observations: "St Thomas's disbelief has benefited our faith more than the belief of the other apostles; Thomas attained faith only through physical touch and confirmed Jesus’ resurrection. Also, the Lord permitted the apostle to doubt and also get clarified. The Lord did not abandon him in doubt, instead He allowed him to be a witness to the truth of the resurrection. After Thomas touched the Lord’s wounds, he cried out: “My Lord and my God!” And Jesus said to him: “Because you have seen Me, Thomas, you have believed”. St Thomas’ “Faith therefore followed upon seeing."

St Thomas Day festival dates between 2020 & 2030

Year

Date

2020

Friday, 3rd of July

2021

Saturday, 3rd of July

2022

Sunday, 3rd of July

2023

Monday, 3rd of July

2024

Wednesday, 3rd of July

2025

Thursday, 3rd of July

2026

Friday, 3rd of July

2027

Saturday, 3rd of July

2028

Monday, 3rd of July

2029

Tuesday, 3rd of July

2030

Wednesday, 3rd of July

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