On this account did they despise death

An icon of the Resurrection (11th century) in the Monastery of St Luke, Greece

An icon of the Resurrection (11th century) in the Monastery of St Luke (of Steiris), Greece

**

Today is the Feast of St Thomas the Apostle.

**

For his trust in the promise of a bodily resurrection, St Ignatius of Antioch (+ c. 107) drew great comfort and strength from the story of St Thomas.

AND I know that He was possessed of a body not only in His being born and crucified, but I also know that He was so after His resurrection, and believe that He is so now.

When, for instance, He came to those who were with Peter, He said to them, “Lay hold, handle Me, and see that I am not an incorporeal spirit” (Luke 24:39).

And He says to Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger into the print of the nails, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side” (see Jn 20:21-28); and immediately they believed that He was Christ.

Wherefore Thomas also says to Him, “My Lord, and my God”.

And on this account also did they despise death, for it were too little to say, indignities and stripes.

St Ignatius of Antioch (+ c. 107), Epistle to the Smyrnaeans III (CCEL). St Ignatius was himself martyred.

**

THY unbelief, O Thomas, heals the unbelief that slays the souls of all. For it cannot be gainsaid: thou didst examine the print of the nails and the lance.

Being mighty, thou didst let fly thine Apostle, O Christ the Giver of Life, into the hearts of thy enemies like a sharpened bolt, and he brought the plunder of their spoils unto thee.

Thou didst destroy idolatrous sacrifices, when thou was offered upon the Cross as Victim, O Compassionate, and by the holy death in sacrifice of the Apostles who spoke concerning God, and who imitated thy sufferings.

An icon of the Belief of St Thomas the Apostle (15th century, Russian)

An icon of the Belief of St Thomas the Apostle (15th century, Russian)

Theotokion

O WONDER, newest of all wonders! That without husband a Virgin conceived in her womb him that handleth the universe, yet she was not straitened.

Irmos

‘I WILL make sacrifice to thee, with a song of praise, O Lord’, the Church crieth unto thee. Purified from bloody defilement of demons is she, by the blood flowing in compassion from thy side.

Kontakion, Tone 4.

THE Apostle of Christ, filled with grace, and minister of the truth, cried out in repentance: “Thou art my Lord and my God”.

Ikos

TO the disciple of Christ and great speaker of mysteries, to Thomas who spake concerning God, Peter cried out: We have seen the Lord!”; and he spake in his turn. “Unless I see the print of the nails upon his hands, and search his side with my fingers, I will never believe.”

But the Creator and Master of all came as a servant, wishing to save all: and he said to Thomas, “Examine the prints upon my hands and side, and do not be unbelieving. For I am the Lord thy God.” But he in repentance cried out, “Thou art my Lord and my God”.

At Matins on the Feast of St Thomas, Apostle of the Twelve. My non-expert translations, from Analogion.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s