To those not familiar with the Gospels, the title “Doubting Thomas” may appear strange. But Thomas, who was one of the Apostles, earned it. At the Last Supper, when Jesus said to the Apostles that He was “going to the Father,” it was Thomas who said, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” After He had risen from the dead, Jesus appeared to the Apostles in what is termed the Upper Room. Thomas was not with them and when he was told that Jesus had risen, his reply was, “Unless I can put my fingers into the marks of the nails and my hand into his side, I will not believe.” It was this remark – among others – that earned for him the title Doubting Thomas. But, he was a very faithful and loving apostle of Jesus. And then what happened? A week later, while the Apostles were in the Upper Room and Thomas was present, Jesus came through the locked door. He said to them, “Peace be with you.” And then He looked at Thomas and said – “Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Put your hand into my side. Doubt no longer, but believe.” Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God.” And Jesus said to him (and to us!), “You believe because you can see Me. blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

According to tradition, after our Lord’s Ascension, Thomas went to India and there he was martyred in Madras (present Chennai). The exact date is unknown, but in July 1972, Pope Paul VI declared him “the Apostle of India.”

Here is an interesting personal story. I went to Kenya, East Africa in 1942. The first Sunday after my arrival, the priest in charge of the mission asked me to celebrate one of the Masses. At that time, the Mass was in Latin. When I elevated the Host after the Consecration, the entire congregation – about 500 – shouted something in their own language. I was startled as I thought it was some objection. After Mass, I said to the priest in charge, “What were they shouting about at the Consecration?” He replied, “Do you remember what Thomas the Apostle proclaimed when Jesus appeared in the Upper Room and showed his wounds?” I replied, “Yes: ‘My Lord and my God.’” He said, “That is what they proclaim when the Sacred Host is raised.”