Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 12:00
Today is the Feast Day of Saint Thomas - fellow Apostle to Saint Jude.
Thomas the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Thomas is commonly known as "Doubting Thomas" because he doubted Jesus' resurrection when first told of it (as related in the Gospel of John alone); later, he confessed his faith, "My Lord and my God," on seeing Jesus' crucifixion wounds. However, it is also important to remember that Thomas became the first apostle to call Jesus, God.
Traditionally, Thomas is believed to have travelled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, travelling as far as Tamilakam which are the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in present-day India. According to tradition, Thomas reached Muziris, (modern-day North Paravur and Kodungalloor in the state of Kerala, India) in AD 52 and converted several people, founding what today are known as Saint Thomas Christians or Mar Thoma Nazranis.
After his death, the reputed relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle were enshrined as far as Mesopotamia in the 3rd century, and later moved to various places.
Our image above shows one of two panels in aggrafito work by Adam Kossowski, one bearing the names of the Apostles, and the other the Apostles Creed, embellished with early Christian symbols. The lettering and ornamentation are in red and black, and the effect is obtained by laying a foundation of red and black plaster, then covering it with an off-white plaster, and while the latter is still moist cutting away the lettering with a stylus to reveal the colours beneath.
The image below shows the Saint Thomas carving (on left) amongst his fellow apostles. The carvings of the Twelve Apostles round the apse in the inner Shrine are by Anthony Foster. He was Eric Gill's principal assistant, and Gill had a very high opinion of his work. The design was based on the Malmesbury Apostles. Saint Paul has been substituted for Judas Iscariot.
Saint Thomas, pray for us! Saint Jude, pray for us!