Devapriyaji - True History Analaysed

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       The New Testament gives a graphic description of St. Thomas, the Apostle’s character. He was quite outspoken and daring. He was indeed chided by Jesus Christ for his lack of faith. “Still his incredulity has done more to strengthen the faith of all subsequent believers than the faith of all the other disciples, says St. Gregory.(1) And once he was confirmed in his faith, he made the most sublime act of faith declaring: “My Lord and my God”, [Jn.21:28] and thus avowing the divinity of Jesus Christ as well as His resurrection.
        Taking seriously to heart the last command of Jesus viz. “Going therefore, teach ye all the nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” [Mt.28:19], the Apostles went to different parts of the world to spread Jesus Christ’s teaching and convert people to Christianity. And Jesus was with them in accordance with His promise: “Behold I am with you all days” [Mt. 28:20]. His presence was felt in the many miracles wrought to confirm the teachings of the Apostles. Thus the mission of the Apostles could bear abundant fruits and Christianity could spread far and wide within a short period.

        It was St. Thomas’ lot to come to India on his mission to preach the gospel. St. Peter the prince of the Apostles said: “The servant of God, our dearest brother Thomas, will follow his Master preaching in India, in Persia and among the Parthians, Medes, Hircanians, Brahmans, and Bactrians. He shall baptize the three Magi Kings, and, as they shall be attracted by the rumour of his preaching and his miracles, he shall instruct them fully in all things according to their expectations.”(2)
        His mission to the east was undertaken twice - first before the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (46 A.D.) and secondly after her Assumption. Just as he was impressed by the resurrection of Our Lord, he was equally impressed by the Assumption of Our Lady. So much so he was particular in erecting churches in honour of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin not only in new places of his second mission but also in places where the converts of his first mission were residing. On his second arrival (52A.D.), their places of worship were turned into churches dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Assumed into heaven body and soul.

        The time of his first mission is computed by this author as between 33 A. D. and 46 A.D (Vide foot note no.3). Authors have so far dealt with St. Thomas’ mission to India as commencing from 52 A.D. But the author of this treatise Rev. Fr. Pancras M. Raja directed his research work on St. Thomas’ first expedition in the places like the Southern Pandian Kingdom (Called Naarankottai or Maanaveeranaadu, situated between Thiruchendur and Kanyakumari) and the Southern Chera Kingdom (called Venaadu or Travancore, situated between Kanyakumari and Maarthaandam) where St. Thomas sojourned in his first mission for thirteen years (from 33 A.D. to 46 A.D.) before the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He also includes the journeys of St. Thomas to countries like Ceylon, China and Japan during this first mission.

       Rev. Fr. Pancras M. Raja has succeeded in tracing out the converts of St. Thomas’ first mission who were scattered from the kingdom of Naaraankottai (Maanaveera Naadu) to various places in course of time, and in explaining the destruction of that kingdom in the seventeenth  century because of a catastrophic cyclone carrying heavy loads of sand, caused by a curse(4) (cfr. Chapter 15). Hence the hitherto unknown history of the missionary activities of St. Thomas in his first mission and the regions and people who first embraced Christianity owing to his preaching and miracles form the theme of this historic research. The author has referred to ancient documents like “The Acts of Thomas”, “The Gospel of Thomas”, “The Catholic Encyclopedias” and all the website materials available. He deserves our congratulations.
Prof. K. Maria Pankiras M.A., M.Ed.
Tuticorin, India


1. St. Gregory, “Hom. in Evang.” 26.
2. Bl. Mary of Agreda, “The Mystical City of God” Vol. IV No. 222.
3.  Scripture scholars indicate that because of a miscalculation of Dionysius Exiguus, the Christian era does not start with the birth of Jesus Christ, and Jesus’ birth should have taken place between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. “Most scholars generally assume a date of birth between 6 and 4 BC/BCE. Other scholars assume that Jesus was born sometime between 7–2 BC/BCE” (Source: :
But resent studies have proved that Dionysius Exiguus and St. Luke were correct in their accounts: “However, the common Gregorian calendar method for numbering years, in which the current year is 2011, is based on the decision of a monk Dionysius in the six century, to count the years from a point of reference (namely, Jesus’ birth) which he placed sometime between 2 BC/BCE and 1 AD/CE(Source:
For centuries, astronomers and scientists have used diverse computational methods to estimate the date of crucifixion, Isaac Newton being one of the first cases. Newton's method relied on the relative visibility of the crescent of the new moon and he suggested the date as Friday, April 23, 34 AD/CE. In 1990 astronomer Bradley E. Schaefer computed the date as Friday, April 3, 33 AD/CE. In 1991, John Pratt stated that Newton's method was sound, but included a minor error at the end. Pratt suggested the year 33 AD/CE as the answer. Using the completely different approach of a lunar eclipse model, Humphreys and Waddington arrived at the conclusion that Friday, April 3, 33 AD/CE was the date of the crucifixion”.                                                                          Source:                                          Cfr. Appendix IJesus from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Consequently this author comes to the conclusion that when Our Lord died at the age of 33, the year of the Christian era was 33, and he fixes 33 A.D. as the commencing year of St. Thomas’ missionary work, and 46 A.D. as the end of the first part of his mission, which coincided with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin that took place when She was 63 years old.
4.  Cfr. The same author, “History of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Sands” Ch. 15.



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