Apostle Icons: Saint Thomas the Apostle
Orthodox apostle icons depict the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, who accompanied Him throughout His earthly path. One of the holy apostles was St. Thomas. He is also called the “Doubting Thomas” because he distrusted the true nature of Christ as he met Him after the Resurrection. Read about St. Thomas’s life and the main features of his Orthodox icon in this blog post.
Saint Thomas the Apostle: a brief biography
Before serving Jesus Christ, St. Thomas the Apostle was a fisherman. He was born in the city of Pansada in northern Palestine. Interestingly, Thomas is often referred to as Christ’s “twin” because he supposedly resembled him in appearance.
When Thomas heard about Christ, he left his occupation and followed Him. He soon became one of the 12 Holy Apostles. According to tradition, St. Thomas doubted Christ’s resurrection and did not believe the stories of the other disciples. He said he would not recognize the miracle of the Resurrection until he would see His wounds. When Christ appeared to the apostle on the eighth day after His resurrection and showed him His wounds, Thomas believed in Christ more than ever.
Thomas the Apostle preached the word of God all over the world and died a martyr’s death in India. The relics of the Apostle Thomas are kept in Hungary, India, and on Mount Athos.
St. Thomas is considered the patron saint of India, Pakistan, builders, theologians, and blind people.
Apostle icons: St. Thomas the Apostle
Orthodox apostle icons depict the disciples of Christ in their prime, dressed in the traditional garments of the apostles. St. Thomas appears as a middle-aged man. In his hands, he holds an open scroll. Above his head, one can observe a shining halo, which indicates that he is not the “doubting Thomas” but a believer. A red fiery opal is often depicted around the saint’s halo. It symbolizes the blood of St. Thomas’s martyrdom.
There are also icons of the Apostle Thomas revealing the scene of his belief in Christ’s resurrection. The icon depicts the figures of Christ and the Apostle Thomas touching His wounds. At the sides, there are other Apostles and church buildings. Icons of this type are often included in the festive rows of iconostases.
Apostle icons are valuable relics in the Orthodox Christian church. Do not miss the opportunity to get a closer look at them.