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Saint Thomas

The first Sunday after Easter is called the Sunday of St. Thomas. The name comes from the gospel that is read on this Sunday. The gospel begins with Jesus appearing to His Disciples on the evening of His Resurrection.

 

When it was late that same day, the first day of the week.... Jesus cameand stood in the midst and said to them, "Peace be to you" And after eight days, His Disciples were again inside and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being closed, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be to you!"                                                                         (Jn. 20: 19-27)

Thomas was not present when Jesus first showed Himself to His Disciples. When the Apostles told Thomas of the Lord's appearance, he said that he would not believe until he saw Jesus Himself. Eight days later, Jesus again appeared and called Thomas to Him and showed His hands and side that Thomas might believe.

The Church remembers this gathering of the Disciples and celebrates St. Thomas' confession on the eighth day after the Feast of The Resurrection. Thomas' brief but pointed affirmation of belief "My Lord and my God", (Jn. 20: 28) is the title often given to the Icon of St. Thomas. It portrays the greatest confession of anyone in the Gospels. Thomas, who has seen Christ in His earthly existence, now is transformed to see Christ through the eyes of faith.

In the Icon, Christ shows Himself to Thomas. Christ, the dominant figure at the center, initiates the activity in the Icon as He bends toward Thomas and shows him His side. Thomas is called to see and believe. The remaining Apostles stand as witnesses to the Risen Lord. This event takes place in the upper room where the Disciples gathered, and the closed doors witness to Christ's entering even though the doors were locked. This Icon is a witness of the Resurrection. It is a witness to us and a call to believe and profess our faith in Christ, our Lord and our God.

 

TROPARION ising in praying to Crist with Icon of St. Thomas — Though the tomb had been sealed, from the tomb You arose, O Christ God, Life; and though the door had been locked, You ap peared among the Disciples, O Resurrection of All, restoring an upright spirit for us by this according to Your great mercy.