The Apostle Thomas was born in the Galilean city of Pansada and was a fisherman. Hearing the good tidings of Jesus Christ, he left all and followed after him. According to Holy Scripture, the holy Apostle Thomas did not believe the reports of the other disciples about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe" (John 20:25). On the eighth day after the Resurrection, the Lord appeared to the Apostle Thomas and showed him His wounds. "My Lord and my God," the Apostle cried out (John 20:28). "Thomas, being once weaker in faith than the other apostles," says St John Chrysostom, "toiled through the grace of God more bravely, more zealously and tirelessly than them all, so that he went preaching over nearly all the earth, not fearing to proclaim the Word of God to savage nations."

The gift of Christ’s love reached the shores of India in 20 years of His death. The reality of His redemption has, ever since, inspired and guided the small community of early Christians in Southwest India, what is now Kerala. Remaining rooted in the positive aspects of indigenous culture, they have constantly tried to live by the original apostolic faith, revisiting reform or revision true to the spirit of the concept, Orthodox, which means the right Glorification of God. The unbroken continuity of this living tradition of nearly 2000 years can be traced to where it began. Appearing to the 11 disciples, gathered in Galilee, the Risen Christ said: Go out to the whole world, proclaim the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15) Thomas, for his part, took the eastern route, past the Roman empire, travelling by land, river and sea, across the continent of Asia. He preached the gospel in the west and central Asia, the Indo-Parthian kingdom in the northwest of India, beyond the coast of peninsular India and China, before returning to India, to die a martyr near Chennai in AD 72.

The concept of the 'Throne of St. Thomas' is based on the words of our Lord Himself. In St. Mathew 19:28, it is written that ‘Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, you who have followed me, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory in the rebirth, you yourselves shall also sit upon twelve thrones ruling the twelve tribes of Israel’’. In Luke 22:28, our Lord says to the twelve "You are those who have continued with me in trials. As my father appointed a Kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel". From these two passages, it is quite clear that our Lord promised twelve thrones to the twelve apostles and none of them was deprived of having the authority. If the Twelve have thrones, then there can be no doubt at all that St. Thomas the Apostle had also a throne.

The word ‘throne is derived from the Greek word ‘Thronos’ and the Syriac equivalent is ‘kursyo’. In Hebrew, it is ‘kisse’. The word primarily means ‘the seat of authority of a king or a prince or a judge. Both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament the word throne is referred to as the seat of authority (cf. 1 kings 22:19; Issah 6:1; Sam 4:1-13 etc.). Thus, by the word ‘throne’, it means the ‘authority proceeds from God bestowed upon disciples. The following assumptions can be drawn from the analysis of the above biblical passages: The throne is the seat and symbol of authority and is primarily applied to the highest of all authorities from whom every authority comes, i.e., the authority of God and therefore the Throne of God. In this matter of throne, there is no difference between the authority vested on St. Peter and St. Thomas.

(A part of the above excerpt was prepared by H.G. Dr Zachariah Mar Aprem based on a paper submitted by Late lamented Metropolitan Dr Paulose Mar Gregorios to the Holy Episcopal Synod in 1974)

Copyright © 2021 St. Thomas Church, Sahibabad. All rights reserved.