Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

St Thomas History – July 3, 2024

The Feast of St Thomas, celebrated on July 3, is observed across the world. The day celebrates St Thomas’s life and deeds. In the 1st Century A.D, he traveled to India where he preached Christianity. The occasion has become an opportunity for people to commit to preserving faith and culture. While Christians observe it to pay homage to one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ, Hindus remember him for saving their ancient country from a terrible famine. He was said to have lived in India as a missionary among the Jewish, where he spread Christianity to make the religion popular among service-oriented sections of society.

History of St Thomas History

Although the history of St. Thomas is a subject of much debate, it is known that he traveled to India in 52 A.D. Also, no one knows when or how exactly he arrived in India, but he went on to establish seven churches in Kerala. He died 20 years after he arrived in the country at age 72.

Some historians say that St. Thomas first went to Persia (present-day Iran) and then to South India by sea with a Jewish merchant named Habban. Other writers claim that he traveled by land through Afghanistan and Baluchistan, now part of Pakistan, and then arrived in India via Gujarat.

The Feast of Saint Thomas was inserted into the Roman calendar in the ninth Century on December 21. The Martyrology of St. Jerome, a calendar recording the feast days of saints, mentioned the apostle on July 3, the date the Roman celebration transferred it to in 1969. This was so that the day would no longer clash with the days of Advent. Traditionalist Roman Catholics and many Anglicans still celebrate his feast day on December 21.

St Thomas History timeline

1st Century
St. Thomas Is Born

He is born in Pansada, Galilee, in the Province of Judea, part of the Roman Empire.

52 A.D.
He Lands In India

St Thomas travels to India and spreads Christianity there.

72 A.D.
St. Thomas Dies

St. Thomas is killed with a spear in Chennai, and his body is interred in Mylapore.

The Feast of St Thomas

The Feast of St Thomas is inserted into the Roman calendar in the 9th Century on December 21, however, the Martyrology of St Jerome mentions the apostle on July 3, the date to which the Roman celebration was transferred.

St Thomas History FAQs

What did Thomas the Apostle do for a living?

St. Thomas was allegedly a master builder. According to accounts of his life, shortly after he was sent to teach in India, the Indian king’s messenger arrived in Jerusalem, looking for a skilled individual to build the king a sumptuous palace.

What is St. Thomas’ symbol?

Each saint is said to have led an exemplary life, and symbols have been used to tell their stories throughout the history of the Church. For example, St. Thomas’ is an ax, spear, and carpentry tools.

What does the Gospel of Thomas say about Jesus?

The Gospel of Thomas suggests that Jesus is aware of and criticizes the views of the Kingdom of God as a time or a place that is out of reach or in some far-off place. Here Jesus says, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘look, the Kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds will get there first.

How to Observe St Thomas History

  1. Read the gospel and epistle for mass

    You can find his Gospel in John 20: 24-29 which tells us that St. Thomas, who was not present when Jesus appeared to the apostles for the first time after his resurrection, refused to believe their testimony.

  2. Create a bonfire

    Bonfires are traditional on the night of this holiday when people go out into the fields, and stack poles into the ground to form a pyramid to then set fire to. Create one of your own in a safe area, but be careful not to cause an uncontrollable fire.

  3. Reflect on doubt

    Because Thomas didn't believe that Jesus had come risen from the dead, he was labeled ‘Doubting Thomas.’ Take the time to reflect on your doubts and which require you to have more faith.

5 Facts About The Feast Of St Thomas You Should Know

  1. Doubting Thomas

    St. Thomas is best known as ‘Doubting Thomas’ because he refused to believe that Jesus rose from the dead until he could see and touch Him.

  2. Killed while praying

    In the medieval Golden Legend, St. Thomas was sent to India by St. Bartholomew and managed to convert King Gondophares and his brother to Christianity before being killed by a lance while praying in front of a statue of Buddha.

  3. Born a Jew

    St. Thomas was born a Jew and was called to be one of the 12 apostles of Jesus at the beginning of His public ministry.

  4. Patron saint of architects

    During the Middle Ages, St. Thomas came to be regarded as the patron saint of architects because he was believed to have designed and built some churches in India.

  5. Church named after him

    Some of the other churches dedicated to St. Thomas are St. Thomas's Church in Jerusalem, St. Thomas's Church in Rome, and St. Thomas's Church in India.

Why St Thomas History is Important

  1. Lesson for those who are skeptical

    The feast of St. Thomas allows those who are skeptical to question their faith. It holds the belief that just because there is no evidence for something, doesn’t mean that it can’t be true.

  2. Not only for St. Thomas

    Observing the day also allows us to recognize all of the other saints who are the backbone of Christianity. It’s also a chance to send prayers for our relatives and friends who are now faithfully departed.

  3. A reason to gather

    The feast of St. Thomas may be observed by going to a church service or by sharing a simple meal of bread, wine, and fish to remember the last supper Jesus had with his disciples. Share a meal and break bread with your friends and family during this time.

St Thomas History dates

2024July 3Wednesday
2025July 3Thursday
2026July 3Friday
2027July 3Saturday
2028July 3Monday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.