Tuesday, March 23, 2010

St. Thomas the Apostle (1st century AD to Dec. 21, 72)

"Don't ever forget what your grandfather went through to get to this country." Those were my mother's last words to me before she passed away on Aug. 2, 1999. It wasn't "I love you or I'll see you again someday." It meant something to her that I remember her dad.
I heard stories about him being in steerage on the boat trip from Italy to the United States when he was 5 or 6-years-old around 1909. He worked as a stone mason and studied by candlelight. It paid off. My grandfather, who became an American citizen, graduated from the architecture program at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1926, something I consider amazing for that time.
He was a registered architect and my younger brother followed in his footsteps going to the same college and getting the same degree.
St. Thomas the Apostle, also known as Doubting Thomas, is the patron saint of architects. He was born in Galilee in the 1st century AD. He was a follower of Jesus and did not believe the Apostles who had seen the risen Christ on Easter Sunday.
Eight days later, that changed. St. Thomas the Apostle saw the second apparition of Jesus. He put his fingers into the open wounds and said "My Lord and my God."
When you find it hard to believe, think of St. Thomas but also know that believing is seeing. The Apostle was stabbed to death on Dec. 21, 72. His relics are in Ortona, Italy and his feast day is July 3.

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