June 3, 2020 - Bashans 26, 1736
Martyrdom of St. Thomas, the Apostle
On this day St. Thomas the apostle was martyred. He was born in Galilee, and the Lord chose him among the twelve disciples (Mathew 10:3). When the Lord wanted to go to raise Lazarus from the dead, Thomas said to the other disciples: ' (John 11:16). He also asked the Lord at the supper: ' (John 14:5-6). When the Lord Christ appeared to the disciples after the resurrection, and said to them 'Receive the Holy Spirit', Thomas was absent. On his return, the disciples told him, ''We have seen the Lord.' He said to them: ' (John 20:19-29). After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in the Upper room in Zion, the apostles dispersed everywhere to preach the Gospel, Thomas went to India. He worked there as a slave at one of the friends of the king, whose name was Lukios, who brought him to the king who inquired about his profession. Thomas said: 'I am builder, carpenter and a physician. He preached in his master's palace, and Lukios' wife believed and all his household. The king asked him about his achievements, and he said: 'The palaces that I built were the souls that have become the temples of the King of Glory; the carpentry that I did was the Gospel that removes the thorns of sin; and the medicines I practiced are the Holy Mysteries which heal the poison of the evil one. The king became angry and tortured him, and bound him among four poles, cut off his skin and rubbed his wounds with salt and lime. The apostle Thomas endured the pains. Lukios' wife saw him suffering, and she fell from the window and died. Lukios came to him and said: 'If you raise my wife from the dead, I believe in your God.' Thomas went to the room where the dead body was, and said: 'Arsabona (Arsonia), rise up in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.' She rose instantly and bowed to the Saint. When her husband saw that, he believed and many more with him from the people of the city, and Thomas baptized them. Once the sea drove a huge tree to the shore that no one could lift it up. St. Thomas asked the king for permission to lift it up and to use its wood in building a church. He got the permission, he made the sign of the cross, and he raised it and later he built the church, to which he ordained a bishop and priests.
St. Thomas left and went to a city called 'Kantoura' (Kontaria), where he found an old man weeping bitterly because the king killed his six children. The Saint prayed over them, and the Lord raised them up. The idol priests were angry, and wanted to stone him. The first raised a stone to throw it at him, and his hand was paralyzed. The Saint prayed over his hand, he was healed instantly, and all the idol priests believed in the Lord Christ. Then St. Thomas went to the city of 'Parkenas' and other cities, where he preached in the Name of Jesus Christ. The king heard about him, and he put him in prison. When he found out that he was teaching the prisoners the way of God, he tortured him, and at last he cut his head off, and he received the crown of martyrdom. He was buried in 'Melibar', then his body was relocated to El-Raha. May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.