Devapriyaji - True History Analaysed

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          The “Acts of Judas Thomas” state that the bones of the Apostle were removed from his grave at Mylapore during the life time of the king who sentenced him to death. Let us first read this tradition which says that the translation took place in the very Apostolic age itself: “Now it came to pass after a long time that one of the children of Misdaeus (Mahadeva) the king was smitten by a devil, and no man could cure him, for the devil was exceeding fierce. And Misdaeus the king took thought and said: I will go and open the sepulcher, and take a bone of the apostle of God and hang it upon my son and he shall be healed. But while Misdaeus thought upon this, the apostle Thomas appeared to him and said unto him: Thou believedst not on a living man, and wilt thou believe on the dead? Yet fear not, for my Lord Jesus Christ hath compassion on thee and pitieth thee of his goodness.
          “And he went and opened the sepulcher, but found not the apostle there, for one of the brethren had stolen him away and taken him unto Mesopotamia; but from that place where the bones of the apostle had lain Misdaeus took dust and put it about his son’s neck, saying: I believe on thee, Jesu Christ, now that he hath left me which troubleth men and opposeth them lest they should see thee. And when he had hung it upon his son, the lad became whole.
          “Misdaeus the king therefore was also gathered among the brethren, and bowed his head under the hands of Siphor the priest; and Siphor said unto the brethren: Pray ye for Misdaeus the king, that he may obtain mercy of Jesus Christ, and that he may no more remember evil against him. They all therefore, with one accord rejoicing, made prayer for him; and the Lord that loveth men, the King of Kings and Lord of lords, granted Misdaeus also to have hope in him; and he was gathered with the multitude of them that had believed in Christ,” (Thirteenth Act. No. 170)
          The modern town of Urfa in Turkey represents the ancient Edessa (in Mesopotamia).
          There is another tradition which holds that the translation took place at a latter period in the third century.

          Concerning these two traditions Medlicott expressed the following view: “The Alexandrian date towards the middle of the third century (The Ortona record gives the exact date as July 3, 230 A.D.), does appear on general grounds the more probable of the two, because, it fits in better with surrounding data and with the reopening of the trade route to India Via the Euphrates; by the successful termination of the war, the way would be paved for such removal.”1
          Fr. Motha Vaz gives a graphic description of this second tradition of the translation in a style peculiar to him: “The testimony of St. Gregory of Tours states that after a long interval of time these remains had been removed thence to the city of Edessa is more reliable. However it is clear from the writings of St. Ephrem that the relics remained at Edessa in A.D. 373. Let me explain how they came there. King Abgar IX was ruling Edessa from A.D. 222 to 225. After his conversion to Christianity, Catholic religion had been declared as the state religion. In those days Mylapore belonged to the diocese of Edessa. Besides, some of the monks from Edessa had established a monastery at Mylapore and were engaged in missionary activities there. It is they who were safeguarding the tomb of the Apostle. The king when he came to know about the Acts of Thomas and of his martyrdom, wishing to bring the bones and respectfully venerate them in his country, sent for that purpose Khabin a merchant to Mylapore. Since he was the envoy sent by the king, through him the monks sent the bones to Edessa. But at the request of the monks and the Christians at Mylapore, a small portion of the spear which pierced through the Apostle and a small piece of bone attached to the point of the spear were left in the tomb itself.”2
RELICS OF ST. THOMAS, MYLAPORE, CHENNAI                                
The lance head with which the saint was killed is preserved in the Basilica museum.
First time the tomb was opened to take some earth to cure the son of ruling king Mahadeva. The sand from the tomb is believed to have miraculous healing powers. Between A.D. 220 and 232 a merchant called Khabin removed greater portion of the relics to Edessa in Asia Minor. Later this was moved to Chios island and finally to Ortona on the east coast of Italy.
A piece of bone and the lance head that used to kill the saint, excavated from the tomb, is kept in a monstrance in the museum.


Saturday, 07 July 2007 09:54 Simon Chumkat.
          Marco polo visited the tomb in 1293 and recorded about the miraculous healing powers of the sand taken from the tomb. Pilgrims used to take sand from the tomb back to their homes and keep it with devotion. For the benefit of pilgrims Shrine is providing 'Relic Card' embedded with sand taken from the tomb.
          Further proof may be adduced to justify this claim in the Catholic Encyclopedia:
          “A Syrian ecclesiastical calendar of an early date confirms the above. In the quotation given below two points are to be noted which support its antiquity - the fact of the name given to Edessa and the fact the memory of the translation of the Apostle's relics was so fresh to the writer that the name of the individual who had brought them was yet remembered. The entry reads: "3 July, St. Thomas who was pierced with a lance in India. His body is at Urhai [the ancient name of Edessa] having been brought there by the merchant Khabin, a great festival." It is only natural to expect that we should receive from Edessa first-hand evidence of the removal of the relics to that city; and we are not disappointed, for St. Ephraem, the great doctor of the Syrian Church, has left us ample details in his writings. Ephraem came to Edessa on the surrender of Nisibis to the Persians, and he lived there from 363 to 373, when he died. This proof is found mostly in his rhythmical compositions. In the forty-second of his "Carmina Nisibina" he tells us the Apostle was put to death in India, and that his remains were subsequently buried in Edessa, brought there by a merchant.”3
          St. Ephrem, as an expression of the Devil, repeatedly refers to the translation of the relics of St. Thomas to Edessa in the following verses 4:
“Thus howled the Devil, in to what land                                      
Shall I fly from the Just?
I stirred up Death the Apostles to slay,                                               
That by their death I might escape their blows.
But harder still am I now stricken; the Apostle I slew in India     
Has overtaken me in Edessa; here and there he is all himself.
There went I, and there was he;                                                                
Here and there to my grief I find him.
The merchant brought the bones;                                                            
Nay, rather they brought him. Lo, the mutual gain!
What profit were they to me,                                                              
While theirs was the mutual gain? Both brought me loss.”
“Thomas, whence thy lineage,                                                                              That so illustrious thou should become!                                                  
A merchant thy bones conveys:                                                               
A Pontiff assigns thee a Feast:                                                        
A King a shrine erects.”
“The bones the merchant hath brought                                        
Over them an outward watch he kept                                           
They from within the guard over him keep,                                  
Since on divers trades he embarked,                                    
Nothing so priceless did he acquire.”
“In his several journeyings to India,                                               
And thence on his return,                                                                        
All riches, which there he found,                                                   
Dirt in his eyes he did repute                                                         
When to thy sacred bones compared.”4
          Abba Marcos in his “History of the relics of St. Thomas the Apostle” gives some reliable information about when how the relics were translated to Edessa. He writes:
          “The merchant kahbin, and the inhabitants of the entirely Christian town that possessed a splendid church, having matured the plan to enrich both of them with an invaluable treasure, seized the body of Saint Thomas in 230. The faithful soon started to venerate the body of the saint; and the chronicle of Edessa relates the translation of the Apostle’s relics to a big church dedicated to him on 22nd August 394 (in the time of Bishop Cyrus). The importance of Edessa diminished after 609 as a result of the different foreign occupations of the Persians, the Arabs and the Byzantines. The town was entirely destroyed in 1146”.
          It is interesting to know that already when the relics were kept in Edessa, portions of the relics were venerated in Italy also. Professor George Menachery informs how this happened. He says that on the occasion of the removal of the relics from the old church at Edessa to the newly built Basilica of St. Thomas in A.D. 394, some portions of the relics were secured on behalf of three principal churches in Italy. These principal churches in Italy are known as the Cathedral of Nola, the Cathedral of Brescia, and the Cathedral of Milan, during the times of their respective bishops Paulinus, Gaudentius and Ambrose.  
          After the destruction of Edessa by the Muslims, as the whole country was liable to be overrun by the rising power of Islam, the Edessan Christians took steps to have the relics removed for safety to Chios an island off the coast of Asia Minor.
(The translation of the body of Saint Thomas to the island of Chios)
           Abba Marcos states that in order to save the venerated body of the Apostle, the European crusaders and the natives carried the relics to the island of Chios. The Byzantine and Syrian Churches indicated 6th October (1146) as the date of this translation.
          At Chios, the worship of the saint developed very quickly. The existence of a church dedicated to St. Thomas is proved historically, as well as the body of the saint being placed in a silver shrine (casket). The chronicles attest numerous miracles and healings around the relics of the apostle. The silver casket was presented by Anatoles Stratelates in 753 while at Edessa.5
          Herman d’ Souza relates that the island of Chios had a chequered history, and therefore it is difficult to know exactly what happened to the relics during the period of their repose over there. They remained in Chios till 1258. But the genuineness of the relics was testified by the slab of chalcedony with the name of the Apostle and his bust engraved on it, which covered the Apostle’s relics while at Chios. This stone is now in the Cathedral of Ortona, Italy.6

The slab of   chalcedony, showing figure bust and Greek inscription – “Agios Thomas,”
meaning Saint Thomas.7





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Abba Marcos gives the following details:
          “During the war between the republics of Venice and Genoa, wanting to settle up with Genoa, Venice destroys several islands recently conquered by Genoa, one among which was the island of Chios. Three galleys (war ships) from Ortona took part in this expedition and put in sack the island of Chios, under the leadership of the Admiral Leo Accaciuoli. He discovered the tomb of Saint Thomas in the church, ordered to open it, and then got the body of the Apostle and carried it to one of the three galleys. The admiral took away with him the body of the saint and the guardian of the church Father Angi Falconiero, as a prisoner. 
On 6th September 1258, the body of Saint Thomas reached Ortona. Father Falconiero remained at Bari as a prisoner; the religious and civil authorities of Ortona sent a commission to Bari, which registered the event in front of a notary so as to dissipate all doubt and confusion in the future. This act relating the translation of the body of Saint Thomas to Ortona, has been registered by the notary Pavone in Bari (Italy) on 22nd September 1259, signed by him, by other notaries and by eminent personalities.
          “The body of the Saint was put in the main church dedicated to Saint Mary, which took later on the name of Saint Thomas. Illustrious pilgrims paid visits to the tomb of the apostle, among them St. Brigitte of Sweden. Numerous indulgences were granted to the pilgrims who visited the body of Saint Thomas:  by Pope Sixtus IV on 7th July 1479, by Pope Gregory XIII on 13th September 1575, by Pope Clemens VIII on 4th March 1596, by Pope Benedict XIV on 14th September 1742, and by Pope Pius XII on 2nd September 1949.

          “But the relics knew also some tribulations at Ortona. A tentative robbery of the relics by the Venetians took place in 1475. An act of the notary Giuseppe Massari informs us that in 1566 the church was burnt by the Turks during the sacking of Ortona. The relics were thrown on the ground and the silver chest taken away as spoils of war. The next day, the clergy got back a large portion of the body from the ashes. In 1612, the relics were placed in a gilded bronze casket. A few years later, the cathedral was reconstructed and embellished. 
On 18th February 1799, soldiers of the French army under the general Couthard again profaned the relics, breaking the casket and throwing the bones on the ground. The next day, the canons collected “all the bones of our protector Saint Thomas, which appeared black as they were after the conflagration of 1566”, as relates a document of that time, and put them in a casket. On 20th April 1800, the relics were again placed in a bronze casket, which was duly sealed; the restoration and the embellishment of the apostolic tomb and the cathedral were undertaken. New disaster in 1943: the cathedral was destroyed by the German army. The relics of Saint Thomas could be saved. On 6th September 1949, the altar tomb of the apostle and the reconstructed cathedral were re-consecrated.”8
A REGISTER OF RELICS, Compiled by David Sing master mentions the wrist bone of St. Thomas at Cranganore (now Koddungalloor) and the head of a lance, a pot with some blood stained earth and some bones in the tomb of the Apostle at Mylapore, Madras:
 “He is said to have landed near Cranganore (now Kodungalloor), Kerala, in 52. The Marthoma Pontifical Shrine there has one of his wrist bones, from the hand that was poked into the side of Christ, supposedly the only relic of Thomas outside Italy. …He is said to have been martyred at Mylapore, now a suburb of Madras and to be buried there in San Thome Basilica, Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu – this is on the site of an earlier Syrian church which was discovered by the Portuguese in 1525 when the tomb was found to contain the head of a lance, a pot with some blood-stained earth and some bones”.9
             Christians all over India celebrated the 19th centenary anniversary of the arrival of St. Thomas the Apostle in 1952. For this solemn occasion, a bone from his hand was entombed in the altar of St. Thomas Church in Crangannore.10
          St. Thomas had said that he would not believe in the Resurrection till he had felt the Risen Christ and his wounds with his own finger — "Except I put my hand into His side, I will not believe (John 20.25)". In 1952, the Pope decided to gift to India, a portion of this finger from the relics kept at Ortona in Italy, in order to commemorate the 1900 years of arrival of St. Thomas in India and Cardinal Tisserant officiating for the Pope, presented this precious relic to Indian Christianity. Source:
          The Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine, a monument to St. Thomas is situated at Marthoma Nagar, Azhikode, Kodungallur, in Kerala. Built in the model of St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, this shrine is a historic pilgrim centre of the Indian Christians, situated on the beautiful banks of the river Periyar. Its historical importance was rightly acknowledged when on the occasion of the 19th centenary celebration of the coming of St. Thomas to India, Holy See, the official seat of the Vatican, thought to offer a befitting gift to St. Thomas Christians in Kerala.
          Late Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, the then Prefect of Oriental Congregation solemnly brought the bone of the right arm of the apostlefrom Ortona in Italy and enthroned it in the present Shrine on December 6th, 1953. From the great day onwards, the Shrine has been attracting pilgrims from all over the world irrespective of caste and creed who come to venerate that hand which belonged to the great Saint, a disciple of Lord Jesus Christ. 
The Marthoma Pontifical Shrine carrying the holy relic of St. Thomas was entrusted by the Holy See to the C.M.I. fathers of Devamatha Province, Thrissur. The relic is enclosed in a glass case and exposed daily from 9 am - 6pm for veneration of the faithful with befitting briefing. Source: Marthoma Pontifical Shrine
          The following Email correspondence gives us a curious viewpoint where to look for the relics of St. Thomas: are they surely found in Ortona at present? Whom are they disposed to? Has our Apostle been offered a chance to come back home (to India)?
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Re: CE: body of St. Thomas
New Message
Date: Fri Mar 14 2003 - 15:57:43 CST
Subject: Re: CE: body of St. Thomas
Allen W Thrasher (
 “ The body of St. Thomas the Apostle was not taken by  Westerners from  India, rather it was early taken from India to  Edessa in Asia Minor, and from thence to Ortona. I don't know the details of any stage, but the initial abstraction was done by Easterners”.
In reply to: Allen W Thrasher: "CE: body of St. Thomas"
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 13:57:43 -0800 (PST)
From: "P.M."( )
Dear Allen,

“Thank you, I had forgotten this. But it doesn't matter to me so much who did what first. Should Rome give back the relics to Edessa and then leave Edessa to give them to India? Perhaps this would work, but who should Rome return them to? The Patriarch of Antioch? The Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrians? In this time when Rome is giving relics back to the Copts, the Greeks, and others, I find it troubling that our Apostle is not offered a chance to come back home (to India). Of course, I blame a lot of this on our hierarchs for not making a big stink about it, but surely one should offer to return property rather than wait to be asked?”
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          Assuredly our Apostle, by Devine Providence, has been offered a chance to come back home (to India). Though our hierarchs did not intend to do so, the property has been returned to India through a back door quite reliable.
          After Vatican II the veneration of relics having been under estimated by the Catholic Hierarchies, S.E. Mgr. Pius Augustus M. Crivellari, O.F.M. succeeded in obtaining a considerable portion (or the whole) of St. Thomas’ relics from Ortona.

The tube containing the relics was sealed by himself at the upper part in 1965.
          In 1967 these relics were donated by Father Bernardino M. Genzo, O.F.M to Dr. Pietro Zampieri, honorary Canon of the Cathedral of Valencia, Spain.
          In 1981 the relics were again donated to S.E. Mgr. Hieronymus B. Bortingnon, Bishop of Padua.
           And in 1983 these relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle were donated by the honorary Canon Pietro Zampieri to Abba Marcos, Orthodox Coptic bishop for the territory of France.
          Abba Marcos, the Orthodox Coptic bishop really wanted to return the property to India. In the year 1988 when he received news that the Society of St. Pius X had started its mission in India, he as a sign of fraternal devotion wanted to donate the relics to the Superior General of the SSPX so that the relics may be sent to the Priory of SSPX in India.
          The author was privileged to be an eye witness when Abba Marcos handed over the treasure of India to Father Franz Schmidberger, Sacerdotal Fraternity of St. Pius X in Switzerland on 6th May 1988, together with the following authentic documents and act of donations dated 10th April 1988.



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The Revost les Eaux
As a sign of fraternal devotion, I Abba Marcos, Orthodox Coptic bishop for the territory of France, offer to
Father Franz Schmidberger
Sacerdotal Fraternity of St. Pius X.
A reliquary containing the relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle, accompanied by the following documents:
1. Copy of the authentic document of S.E. Mgr. Pius Augustus M. Crivellari, O.F.M.
     The tube containing the relics was sealed by himself at the upper part in 1965.
2. Act of donation of these relics from Father Bernardino M. Genzo, O.F.M. to Dr. Pietro Zampieri, honorary Canon of the Cathedral of Valencia, Spain, in 1967.
3. Authentic document of S.E. Mgr. Hieronymus B. Bortingnon, Bishop of Padua, who sealed the tube again in 1981.
4. Document of donation of these relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle by the honorary Canon Pietro Zampieri to Abba Marcos, orthodox Coptic bishop in 1983.
These relics were placed in a reliquary of Renaissance style by myself.
Abba Marcos
Orthodox Coptic Bishop
for the territory of France   


The original copies of the above said documents and the reliquary containing the relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle which you see in these pictures are now preserved in the archives of the Superior of SSPX in India at: The Priory of the Most Holy Trinity, 8A/3 Seevalaperi Road, Annie Nagar, Palyamkottai, Tamil Nadu 627 172, India.
          Thus the great treasure of India, most probably the whole of the remaining relics of St. Thomas the Apostle in Ortona, through the benevolent hands of Abba Marcos Orthodox Coptic Bishop for the territory of France, has reached the land of India (the southern Pandian Kingdom) where St. Thomas commenced his First Mission in 33 A.D. to 46 A.D., without having asked for it.







          “This most ancient dress piece of Mother Mary has centuries-old tradition of veneration. According to the tradition, it is taken from the grave of Saint Thomas
          The Apostle who brought it from Jerusalem to India. Now it is preserved under the guard of Jacobite Syrian Church in Homs, Syria. Scientific studies prove that this girdle is two thousand years old (see picture below, in the comment box) and was made in Palestine.
          P.S, This Cincture should not be confused with the Cincture Our Lady gave to Saints Augustine and Monica (Augustinian Cincture)”
          “This holy and precious relic of the Blessed Virgin Mary can be found at the Syrian Orthodox Church of Homs, Syria.
          “By the 7th century a variation emerged, according to which one of the apostles, often identified as St Thomas, was not present at the death of Mary, but his late arrival precipitates a reopening of Mary's tomb, which is found to be empty except for her grave clothes. In a later tradition, Mary drops her girdle down to the apostle from heaven as testament to the event. This incident is depicted in many later paintings of the Assumption.
          “Apocryphal writings from the early church mention that St. Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles except St. Thomas. St. Thomas was brought to Jerusalem by Holy Spirit through 'Oyar' (air) and saw St. Mary's body was taken to heaven by the angels. He got the girdle from St. Mary as a token to show it to other apostles that he actually saw St. Mary in 'Oyar' and to confirm asked the apostles to open the tomb and then there was no body in it. The Apostles concluded that she had been taken up to Heaven, body and soul.
          “Our Holy Syriac Orthodox Church has the rare privilege to have with her the Girdle of St. Mary. The Holy Girdle of Virgin Mary which was handed over to Apostle St. Thomas, during her assumption to heaven. St. Thomas carried this precious treasure of Virgin Mary with him to India where he died a martyr. In 394 A.D. together with the coffin of St. Thomas, this valuable Girdle of Holy Virgin Mary was also moved from India to Raha and was established in a Church. (In the Syriac history of Raha, it is mentioned that in Aug 22, 705 Greek era they brought the coffin of St. Thomas the apostle to his large church in the days of Mar Kora, the bishop of Raha. Ref: The Orien Biblio of Assimaany, Volume I, page 399). This Church where the Holy Girdle of Virgin Mary was established came to be known as the "The Church of Girdle".

“Holy Girdle is now kept in the St. Mary's Soonoro Church in Holms, Syria.
“Parts of the Holy Girdle was distributed all over the world, and now the remaining small part is rolled and covered with cotton and is kept in an "Arulikka", in a special place near to the Madbaho in this Church. The Holy Girdle was earlier kept in the 'Altar' and in 1953, when the Church was renovated; it was taken out by L.L. “The
Patriarch Mor Aphrem. It was then carbon tested by the archaeologists to determine its age and after that they confirmed its authenticity. Photographs of these events are also kept near to the Holy Girdle's place. The two stone plates, one with a hole inside where the Holy Girdle was kept, and the other one which was covering the first stone plate with an inscription about it, is also kept in a nearby place of the Madbaho.

Two stone plates, one with a hole inside 
where the Holy Girdle was kept, 
and the other one which was covering the first stone plate 
with an inscription about it.
          “The relic of the Cincture venerated for over 800 years in the Cathedral of Prato has no definite history before 1141. According to a story, a gentleman of Prato, named Michele received the relic as a dowry upon his marriage to Maria of Jerusalem, who claimed to be a direct descendant of St. Thomas the Apostle. Michele was told how the belt had come to his wife's possession, but these details are now unknown.
          “Until 16th Century, the relic was kept folded in a silver box and shown carefully by priests who wore silk gloves. During the 16th Century, the Medici family donated a special double frame reliquary which we now see in the photo above.
          “It is a long strip of green ribbon, 1.27 meters in length, and is made from either goat or camel hair with thin gold threads stretched along its borders. It also has small olive-shaped buttons for hooking”. Source: "Relics" by Joan Caroll Cruz.
          When St. Thomas came to India the first time (before the death of Our Lady), he brought with him, like the other apostles, a portion of the relics of Our Lord’s dress and few thorns from the crown of thorns given by the Blessed Virgin Mary. When he came the second time (after the death of Our Lady), he alone was privileged to come wearing in his waist the very girdle of Our Lady Herself. Here let us recall one of the miracles of this girdle against the iniquitous idols and paganism of India.

          F. A. D’Cruz K.S.G. in his “St. Thomas in India” quotes the epic poem called the Lusiads of Louis Camoes, the most sublime figure in the history of Portuguese literature: 
“Here rose the potent city, Named Meliapore,
in olden time rich, vast and grand:
Her sons their olden idols did adore
As still adoreth the iniquitous band:
In those past ages stood she far from shore
 When to declare glad tidings over the land 
Thome came preaching after he had trod
A thousand regions taught to know his God
“Here came he preaching, and the while he gave
Health to the sick, revival to the dead;
 When chance one day brought floating o’er the wave
A forest tree of size unmeasured:
The King a Palace building life would save
The waif for timber, and determined
The mighty bulk of trunk ashore to train
By force of engines, elephants and men.
“Now was that lumber of such vasty size,
No jot it moves, however hard they bear;
When lo! th’ Apostle of Christ’s verities
Wastes in the business less of toil and care
His trailing waist-cord to the tree he ties
Raises and sans an effort haled so nice
A sumptuous Temple he would build the same
A fixt example for all future names”.11
Fr. Em. Mo. Motha Vaz graphically explains the meaning of the above verses of the epic poem in his book “History of St. Thomas the Apostle of India” as follows:
          “One day a tree trunk of an immense size was found caught up on the sands on the sea shore. So the ships could not reach the port as they used to. The King knowing it ordered to bring it ashore at once. An elephant and many workers were brought for that purpose. The King also had come there. Though the men with the help of the elephant descended in to the water and tried their best, the tree did not seem to move an inch. Seeing this, the King thinking it possible to achieve by their gods, ordered to bring many priests and to offer sacrifice. They also prayed their gods by their rituals of light and incense. Nothing was achieved. Then he called for the magicians an asked them to show their powers and achieve the goal by their which crafts. Their coming and sacrificing plenty of fowls and sheep was not of any avail.

The king got furious and shouted: “You are all worthless junks, fools who could do nothing!, you are all great liars! And your prayers also are lies.  He challenged them saying: See I am going achieve what are not able to achieve; and brought 300 elephants and thousands of soldiers. The king and the people gathered there thought that the log would now easily be taken ashore, when the elephants drag it from the front and the soldiers push it from behind. But even when the elephants and men tried very hard, the log did not an inch. Seeing this, the king feeling deceived and ashamed did not know what to do.
          “At that moment St. Thomas came there. By inquiring and seeing what happened, he approached king Mahadeva and said: “O king! I am in need of building a church. Since I need some wood for it, would you please give me the tree which has reached the sea shore? I shall get it ashore and take it myself. ” The king said with a smile of derision; “do you think you are stronger than these elephants and men? I have no objection to grant your request if you can achieve what they could not.” Hearing this St. Thomas said: “I am old and feeble. But the God whom I worship is all powerful. You are going to see His might here and now.  Saying this, the saint untied the girdle from his waist, gave it to one of the workers there and asked him to tie one end of it to the tree and to pull by the other end. When the man tied the tree, the Apostle raising his eyes to heaven prayed, drew the sign of the cross on the log and said: “now you shall pull.” Obeying his words, he with confidence pulled the tree by the girdle. To the trembling and astonishment of all, the log came ashore without any little hurdle. Dragging it the man took it to the spot where St. Thomas had designated to build the church.
          “The king observing it in person became stunned with awe and surprise! Looking at the temple priests and magicians with fury saying: “Truly you are liars and worthless,” he approached the Apostle, humbly greeted him and promised: “O gracious saint! You alone are powerful. You may build the church as you wish. I will give you all the necessary aid and support.”12

          Here the power attributed to St. Thomas was really the power of Our Lady’s girdle worn by the Apostle. In fact when St. Thomas had been privileged to witness the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he like Eliseus from Elias, asked for a special power. (“I beseech thee that in me may be thy double spirit” - 4Kings 2: 9).
And Our Lady, like Elias to Eliseus, granted him his request. (“Since thou hast seen me when I am taken from thee, thou shalt have what thou hast asked” - 4Kings 2: 10). And St. Thomas took up the girdle of Our Lady that fell from her - (4Kings 2: 13). That is the secret why St. Thomas worked many and more powerful miracles in his second mission (52 A.D. to 72 A.D.) than in his first mission (33 A.D. to 46 A.D.) in India.

1. Prof. George Menachery “Kodungallur the cradle of Christianity in India” Page78.

2. Fr. M. Motha Vaz, Ibid. Page 87, 88.  

3. A. E. Medlycott, in “The Catholic Encyclopedia” Vol XIV Page 679. Source: -Similar pages

4. A. E. Medlycott, “India and the Apostle Thomas” Page 22, 39.

5. Prof. George Menachery, Ibid. Page 81.                                                             

6. Herman D’Souza, Ibid. Page 98.                                                                        

7. Ibid Page 45.

8Letter dated10.4.1988 to Father Franz Schmidberger, Sacerdotal Fraternity of St. Pius X.

9. A REGISTER OF RELICS, Compiled by David Sing master, Last updated on 25 November 2011. 87 Rodenhurst Road, London, SW4 8AF, UK; 

10. “St. Thomas the Apostle in India” by Thomas Coipuram – Source:

Catholic Herald Special to the ARLINGTON CATHOLIC HERALD (From the issue of 7/11/02)

11. “St. Thomas in India” by F.A. D’Cruz, K.S.G. Page 141, 142 and 145.

12. Fr M. Motha Vaz ibid. pages 47, 48. 49.

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