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Thursday, July 3, 2014

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2014

Official World Youth Day Logo 2016 in Poland

PRESENTATION OF THE WORLD YOUTH DAY 2016 LOGO
Vatican City, 3 July 2014 (VIS) – In a press conference held this morning the metropolitan archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, presented the logo and official prayer for the 31st World Youth Day.

Three elements are combined in the symbolism of the logo: the place, the main protagonists , and the theme of the celebration. The logo of the 2016 World Youth Day, to be held in Krakow, illustrates the passage from the Gospel according to Matthew, 5.7: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”, chosen as the theme of the event. The image is composed of a geographical outline of Poland, in which there is a Cross, symbol of Christ Who is the soul of World Youth Day. The yellow circle marks the position of Krakow on the map of Poland and is also a symbol of youth. The flame of Divine Mercy emerges from the Cross, and its colours recall the image “Jesus, I trust in you”. The colours used in the logo – blue, red and yellow – are the official colours of Krakow and its coat of arms.

The logo was designed by Monika Rybczynska, a young woman aged 28 from Ostrzeszow, a small town in the mid-west of Poland, following the canonisation of St. John Paul II.
The press conference also included the presentation of the official prayer of World Youth Day 2016, which entrusts humanity and the young to divine mercy, asks the Lord for the grace of a merciful heart, and asks the intercession of the Virgin Mary and St. John Paul II, patron of World Youth Day.
“God, merciful Father,
in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed your love
and poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter,
We entrust to you today the destiny of the world and of every man and woman”.
We entrust to you in a special way
young people of every language, people and nation:
guide and protect them as they walk the complex paths of the world today
and give them the grace to reap abundant fruits
from their experience of the Krakow World Youth Day.
Heavenly Father,
grant that we may bear witness to your mercy.
Teach us how to convey the faith to those in doubt,
hope to those who are discouraged,
love to those who feel indifferent,
forgiveness to those who have done wrong
and joy to those who are unhappy.
Allow the spark of merciful love
that you have enkindled within us
become a fire that can transform hearts
and renew the face of the earth.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.
St. John Paul II, pray for us.

Pope Francis accepts a Soccer Jersey from Costa Rica 's Ambassador

Ticotimes: Pope Francis accepts his personalized “Papa Francesco” Costa Rica jersey from Costa Rica’s outgoing ambassador to the Vatican, Fernando Sánchez. (Via Facebook)
Costa Rica’s outgoing ambassador to the Vatican, Fernando Sánchez, presents Pope Francis with a Sele jersey. (Via Facebook) Looks like even the pope has caught World Cup fever. Before leaving his post, Costa Rica’s outgoing ambassador to the Vatican, Fernando Sánchez, decided to make an appeal to the divine for a Costa Rican victory in their quarterfinal game against the Netherlands on Saturday. Sánchez said his goodbyes to Pope Francis this week, leaving a personalized “Papa Francesco” Costa Rica football jersey behind as a parting gift.
Shared from ticotimes.net

Amazing Love of Foster Parents "We said yes instantly..." - Inspirational

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese report:
3 Jul 2014

The Robertson family including grandsons Reuben and Samuel
When Sydney mother of three, Christine Robertson of Eastwood was awarded an OAM for her services to children, particularly as a foster carer, in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours she admits she was hesitant about accepting the honour.
"I was mortified and wondered how could I think of accepting an award for doing something I'd do even if I had to pay for it. To me the most ordinary thing a human person can do is look after a baby and to love and nurture them. To receive an award for doing what is so normal and which also brings me so much joy seems bizarre," she says.
For the past 21 years, Christine and her family have given emergency, short, medium and long term out-of-home-care to children and babies. To date, the Eastwood-based family has cared for 68 babies and children with the length of stay varying from 12 hours to 12 months, and in one long term case for a period of 12 years and 9 months.
Some of the children have been siblings, others have been twins or triplets.
"So far we've helped care for 34 boys and 34 girls including the two sets of twins and one set of triplets," she says.
While Christine's OAM singled her out as a foster carer, she is quick to point out that providing out of home care is very much a family affair with husbands, biological children, extended family and friends all playing important and significant roles.
As one of CatholicCare 70 to 80 trained and registered foster families across the city, Christine's husband Mike, their son and daughters and network of friends are all involved in helping give the babies and children the Robertson's care for a feeling of love, safety and warmth.
"Mike is a very patient and generous kind of man and has always been involved in every aspect of the care and lives of the children and babies while they are with us," she says, although she admits that her husband of 32 years was somewhat taken aback at the time they became engaged when Christine confided that she wanted to help less fortunate kids in need, and bring them home and take care of them.

Triplets meant the Claire, Tom and Emily Robertson each had a baby to feed and look after
"Growing up in a family with very little money and in an area where most people were struggling, I was still a child when I remember worrying about the children in one family. There were nine of them and they always wore clothes that didn't fit, had no shoes and looked like they needed a wash. I remember wanting Mum to take them in. That's when I decided when I grew up I'd help care for children like that," she says, then bursts out laughing as she remembers 24-year-old Mike's surprised face and his suggestion that they maybe "we should discuss this after we're married and had our own children."
But Mike was never averse to the idea when Claire, Tom and Emily, the couple's three children, were 8, 6 and 4 years. They sat down with them and discussed becoming a foster family.
After seeing a CatholicCare ad for foster care families, Christine, Mike and the children embarked on a series of interviews with CatholicCare.
"We had four very detailed interviews with CatholicCare of about three hours each. Our kids thought the interviews were wonderful and had eyes like saucers because they were suddenly hearing all these things they didn't know about Mike and me such as former boyfriends and girlfriends and a really detailed history," she says.
About to begin full training, Christine and Mike received an urgent phone call asking if it was possible for them to foster two brothers needing respite care one weekend a month.
"We said yes instantly and were hugely excited and it went from there," says Christine.
From the start and throughout their childhood and teenage years, Christine and Mike's children were very much involved in helping out with care and support of the youngsters and babies who needed a weekend, a couple of weeks or even several years of care.
The three pitched in, shared their toys, invented games for the toddlers and youngsters and helped with cuddles and feeds when needed.
Although the children are all now adults, with eldest Claire having two small sons of her own, the three of them still talk about the triplets they cared for as youngsters, and regard these few weeks as one of their most special memories.

The Robertson children were delighted when there were triplets to look after
"We had the triplets for two weeks. My kids thought it was wonderful. Each of them had their own baby to bottle feed and cuddle," Christine says and adds that foster care and the babies and children they have cared for has not only brought great joy to her family but has enabled her to get to know her own children better.
"I think the whole experience growing up has also made them more generous, more tolerant and more socially aware," she says.
Today Emily works for the Benevolent Society, Tom is involved with IT and based in Singapore and Claire is the devoted mother of Reuben, 1 and Samuel who turns 3 this month.
"Claire is a far better mother than I ever was," Christine insists proudly.
When Claire was pregnant with Reuben, her parents gave up fostering for several months so they could pitch in and help out with the juggling act their daughter would need prior to and after the birth as mother to an active two year old and a newborn son.
"But after three months Mike asked if I thought we could negotiate an early release. He missed having a baby in the house at home," Christine says.
These days, Mike and Christine concentrate on providing emergency and short term care for newborns and babies. Their children might be adults, but stored in the garage and ready for the next arrival are strollers, bassinets, three cots, single and double clothes for boys as well as girls in every size imaginable and for every season.
Some of the babies they care for have special needs. These may include physical disabilities or may be a newborn delivered to a drug-addicted or over-medicated mother. Children of addicts are born addicted to whatever drug their mother was on, and Christine, Mike and their family help calm the fretful infants as they undergo painful withdrawals.
Some babies simply need respite or care while their mother is temporarily unable to care for them due to illness or some other emergency.

Mike and Christine Robertson have opened their hearts and their home to babies and children for more than
20 years
"Whatever the reason, Mike and I and the rest of our family are very aware that after a few days or weeks with one person, for a baby to suddenly find themselves in a whole new environment with a new family and household can be a very distressing, confusing and emotionally-charged time," Christine says.
For the Robertson family when the baby arrives, what takes precedence above all else, is to make the tiny infant or toddler feel safe, fed and loved.
"Attachment is essential. The central purpose for us is to establish a bond and lets the baby know the world is a safe place. Once a baby has that bond, they can move on to any other relationship. The primary bond a baby establishes is all important and if this does not happen until after they are 12 months old, life will be more difficult for them and for the relationships they form in later life," she says.
Christine insists that it doesn't matter that you may not be the most perfect parents in the world as long as you bond with the baby, meet his or her needs and let them know and understand that in these first weeks and months of their lives, life is predictable, safe and filled with love.
Sometimes despite the very best efforts, things may not work out quite as planned.
"You try your best but sadly some children do not recover from whatever happened in their first months and years of life," she says.
But Christine insists the joys of fostering far outweigh any down time or disappointments when a child may have been so damaged they are unable to respond.
"My family and I have gotten way more out of giving babies and children out-of-home-care than anything we have given them," she says firmly. "As a human being I adore spending my day on the floor laughing with a baby and for me, it really is as simple as that."
CatholicCare is always interested to hear from families interested in becoming out-of-home carers on a temporary, short term or long term basis. To find out more log on to http://www.catholiccare.org/children-youth/children/foster-care


Latest from the Vatican Information Service - Pope Francis Appoints


MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF CARDINALS
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF CARDINALS
Vatican City, 2 July 2014 (VIS) – The Council of Cardinals met on the morning of Tuesday, 1 July at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, as planned. The Pope is participating in all the meetings; today, Wednesday morning, he participated in the entire meeting, as the general Audiences have been suspended. Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin is regularly present at the meetings, and the Holy Father has established that he will participate fully like the other members of the Council, of whom at present there are nine.
On Tuesday and on Wednesday morning three main themes were considered. There was a presentation by Cardinal Bertello on matters relating to the Governorate, and a presentation relating to the Secretariat of State by Cardinal Parolin.
The issue of the structure of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) was discussed in depth. The meetings, held in two sessions, were also attended by members of the Supervisory Commission of Cardinals present in Rome, Cardinals Santos Abril y Castelló, Thomas Collins and Jean-Louis Tauran, as well as Pietro Parolin.
With regard to the news and questions circulating in the press in recent days, the Director of the Holy See Press Office made the following declaration:
“The IOR is in a time of natural and peaceful transition. The contribution of Ernst von Freyberg continues to be deeply appreciated and highly valued, and further clarifications are possible, indeed likely, next week after the meeting of the Council for the Economy on Saturday”.
The Director then gave a concise explanation of the agenda of the next meeting of the Council for the Economy, which will focus on the Statutes and programme for future work, and will be informed on developments relating to the IOR and – by the Prefecture for Economic Affairs – on the 2013 budget and the provisional budget for 2014.
The Director also announced that a major press conference is expected to be held next week on various matters, including the IOR, linked to the sphere of competence of the Council and the Secretariat for the Economy.
The Council is now continuing its meetings, again taking into consideration and systematically developing the reflections already formulated in the first round of study and review of the different bodies of the Roman Curia.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 2 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Bernardito C. Auza, apostolic nuncio in Haiti, as the Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 3 July 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Rev. Julian LeowBengKim as archbishop of Kuala Lumpur (area 63,760, population 11,000,000, Catholics 180,000, priests 55, permanent deacons 1, religious 154), Malaysia. The bishop-elect was born in Seremban, Malaysia in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 2002. He holds a licentiate in ecclesiastical history from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served as vicar of the “Visitation” parish in Seremban and priest of the “Holy Family” parish in Kajang. He is currently dean of studies and formator at the major seminary of Penang.
- appointed Bishop Edgar Moreira da Cunha, S.D.V., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Newark, U.S.A., as bishop of Fall River (area 3,107, population 834,000, Catholics 315,00, priests 224, permanent deacons 81, religious 245), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop George W. Coleman, whose resignation upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Rev. Fr. John Bonaventure Kwofie, C.S.Sp., as bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi (area 12,681, population 2,033,000, Catholics 408,651, priests 110, religious 70), Ghana. The bishop-elect was born in Powa, Ghana in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, and has served as vicar of the “Sacred Heart” parish in Banjul, Gambia and has held a number of pastoral roles in the parishes of “St. John” in Bohyen Bamtama, “Holy Spirit” in the archdiocese of Kumasi, and “St. Catherine” and “St. Maurice” in the archdiocese of Accra. He has also served as vice president of the Conference of Major Superiors for Africa; provincial superior of the Congregation of West Africa; coordinator of the Continental Conference of Major Superiors for Africa, and first assistant of the Superior General of the Congregation.
- appointed Msgr. Jean-Paul Gusching as bishop of Verdun (area 6,211, population 197,100, Catholics 172,700, priests 55, permanent deacons 15, religious 44), France. The bishop-elect was born in Neuville Coppegueule, France in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1983. He holds a bachelor's degree in theology from the seminary of Rheims and has served in a several pastoral roles, including: priest of the parish of Corbie, vicar of the Cathedral parish, priest at the Amiens city centre parish, priest in the parish of Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Peronne, moderator of the parishes of Saint-Joseph de Moilains-Combles and Notre Dame de Moyenpoint, Roisel. He is currently vicar general of the diocese and diocesan administrator of Amiens.
- appointed Msgr. Hector David Garcia Osorio as bishop of Yoro (area 7,781, population 575,000, Catholics 461,000, priests 28, religious 43), Honduras. The bishop-elect was born in Concepcion de Maria, Honduras in 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1997. He holds a licentiate in spiritual theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Choluteca, including diocesan coordinator of delegates for the celebration of the Word of God, diocesan vicar for pastoral care, chancellor of the diocesan curia, vicar general of the diocese, and rector of the “Pablo VI” minor seminary; and then priest of the parish of “San Jeronimo” in Goascoran. He is currently vice rector of the “Nuestra Senora de Suyapa” major seminary in Tegucigalpa and adjunct secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Honduras.

Please Pray for Another Christian Mother in Prison for Years for Blasphemy in Pakistan

Asia News report: by Jibran Khan
Her family and lawyers report that her psychological and physical state is worsening. A priest in Lahore confirms that the Church is concerned and praying for her conditions. Her lawyers submit a petition to get her appeal trial set. Muslim activist says it is time for justice.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - "We strongly condemn the attitude of the judiciary. Bibi has suffered enough, as has her family. It is time for justice to be done, and she should receive the necessary care. The courts must immediately address her case," said Akeel Ali Mehdi, a Muslim human rights activist who spoke to AsiaNews about the plight of the Christian mother of five sentenced to death for blasphemy and has been waiting for years to appeal her conviction.
Fr Ilyas John, a priest and an activist from the Archdiocese of Lahore, shares those concerns. He confirmed that her psychological and physical health was rapid deteriorating, and called for immediate medical care.
He added that the Church was concerned and praying for Asia Bibi as well as Sawan Masih, a jailed young man who was sentenced to death on the basis of the "black law".
On death row and solitary confinement for security reasons since November 2010, Asia Bibi has long been a symbol of the fight against blasphemy.
In 2011, Islamic extremists killed Punjab Governor Salman Taseer and Minority Affairs Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic, for coming to her defence.
Pakistani Christians have promoted days of fasting and praying for her release, an initiative adhered to by some Muslims.
Recently, the Court of Appeal of Lahore repeatedly postponed her appeal trial, using delaying tactics and legal loopholes of various types, Bibi's lawyers said.
The latest incident took place in late May, when Asia Bibi's case disappeared without any reason from the list of hearings.
Local sources said that the court is trying to avoid the burden of ruling in this case, as orders from higher up push to postpone the verdict.
Lawyers Chaudhry Sardar Khan and Sardar Mushtaq Gill filed a new petition to have her appeal trial's date set.
Civil society groups and various political leaders, not just Christian, have backed her cause through awareness campaigns and efforts to obtain her release.
The petition submitted to the authorities refers to her rapidly deteriorating "psychological and physical" health, a situation confirmed by relatives who met her in recent weeks.
The Interior Ministry reported that Bibi has the right to two medical visits per month. Prison administrators claim that medical reports about her poor health are phoney.
However, defence lawyers and family have sounded the alarm again with regards to her conditions, asking for greater medical care, along with a set date for the appeal process.
With a population of more than 180 million people (97 per cent Muslim), Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, the second largest Muslim nation after Indonesia.
About 80 per cent of Muslims are Sunni, whilst Shias are 20 per cent. Hindus are 1.85 per cent, followed by Christians (1.6 per cent) and Sikhs (0.04 per cent).

Scores of violent incidents have occurred in recent years, against entire communities (Gojra in 2009, and Joseph Colony, Lahore, in March 2013), places of worship (Peshawar, September last year) and individuals ( Sawan MasihAsia BibiRimsha Masih and Robert Fanish Masih, who died in prison), often perpetrated under the pretext of the country's blasphemy laws.
Asia News IT report

Bishops in Philippines Oppose Death Penalty

Philippines: Bishops say no to return of death penalty | Philippines, death penalty, capital punishment
IND.CATH.NEWS/FIDES The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines today (2 July 2014)  reiterated its opposition to the restoration of  the death penalty. In a statement the Bishops quote the Gospel passage in which Jesus says: 'I came that they may have life, and have it to the full' . "Our posture cannot be otherwise" they said. They go on to explain that opposition to the death penalty is also completely justifiable on non-religious grounds.
"Justice does not demand the death penalty.  A mature sense of justice steers as far as possible from retribution,  in the realization that visiting on an offender the same injury he inflicted on his victim makes matters no better at all for anyone". Instead "justice aims to restore broken relations and the ruptured social coherence that follow from crime".
"Executing a human person does not contribute to any of these goals of justice. In fact, it is a weak and retrogressive legal order that calls for the execution of offenders for its vindication".
The Bishops said capital punishment is "cruel and inhuman", firstly for the anxiety and psychological distress that come on one who awaits the moment of execution. Secondly, the relatives of the condemned persons, many times including children, are stigmatized for life. They said every judicial system "is, like all human systems, liable to error. But the death penalty, once executed, is irreversible and no repentance or regret can ever make up for the horrible injustice of a person wrongfully executed".
Meanwhile, the CBCP said the Philippines has signed up to the Second Optional Protocol of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As such, it said the principal obligation it assumed under this international agreement is to abolish the death penalty. While saying they "are rightly appalled by the heinous nature of some crimes committed today", the moral, Christian and mature response to this common social challenge is in the prevention of crime and in testifying against wrong-doers, for law-enforcers to be more vigilant and dedicated to their bounden duties, for prosecutors and courts to be resolute in the prosecution of offenders, and in the trial of those accused.
 

Source: Fides

US Bishops Official Statement on Hobby Lobby Win - A Great Day....

USCCB Statement On Supreme Court "Hobby Lobby" Decision
 
"A great day for the religious freedom of family businesses."
We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to recognize that Americans can continue to follow their faith when they run a family business.  In this case, justice has prevailed, with the Court respecting the rights of the Green and Hahn families to continue to abide by their faith in how they seek their livelihood, without facing devastating fines.  Now is the time to redouble our efforts to build a culture that fully respects religious freedom.
The Court clearly did not decide whether the so-called ‘accommodation’ violates RFRA when applied to our charities, hospitals and schools, so many of which have challenged it as a burden on their religious exercise.  We continue to hope that these great ministries of service, like the Little Sisters of the Poor and so many others, will prevail in their cases as well.
— June 30, 2014
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Archbishop William E. Lori, Chairman  USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty

MORE ON THE "HOBBY LOBBY" CASE

2014

Saint July 3 : St. Thomas Apostle : Patron of Blind, Architects, India

St. Thomas
APOSTLE
Feast: July 3


Information:
Feast Day:July 3
Died:72 in India
Patron of:against doubt, architects, blind people, builders, East Indies, geometricians, India, masons, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, surveyors, theologians
Little is recorded of St.Thomas the Apostle, nevertheless thanks to the fourth Gospel his personality is clearer to us than that of some others of the Twelve. His name occurs in all the lists of the Synoptists (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6, cf. Acts 1:13), but in St.John he plays a distinctive part. First, when Jesus announced His intention of returning to Judea to visit Lazarus, "Thomas" who is called Didymus [the twin], said to his fellow disciples: "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (John 11:16). Again it was St. Thomas who during the discourse before the Last Supper raised an objection:" Thomas saith to him : Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" (John 14:5). But more especially St. Thomas is remembered for his incredulity when the other Apostles announced Christ's Resurrection to him: " Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe" (John 20:25); but eight days later he made his act of faith, drawing down the rebuke of Jesus: "Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed" (John 20:29).
This exhausts all our certain knowledge regarding the Apostle but his name is the starting point of a considerable apocryphal literature, and there are also certain historical data which suggest that some of this apocryphal material may contains germs of truth. The principal document concerning him is the "Acta Thomae", preserved to us with some variations both in Greek and in Syriac, and bearing unmistakeable signs of its Gnostic origin. It may indeed be the work of Bardesanes himself. The story in many of its particulars is utterly extravagant, but it is the early date, being assigned by Harnack (Chronologie, ii, 172) to the beginning of the third century, before A. D. 220. If the place of its origin is really Edessa, as Harnack and others for sound reasons supposed (ibid., p. 176), this would lend considerable probability to the statement, explicitly made in "Acta" (Bonnet, cap. 170, p.286), that the relics of Apostle Thomas, which we know to have been venerated at Edessa, had really come from the East. The extravagance of the legend may be judged from the fact that in more than one place (cap. 31, p. 148) it represents Thomas (Judas Thomas, as he is called here and elsewhere in Syriac tradition) as the twin brother of Jesus. The Thomas in Syriac is equivalant to XXXXX in Greek, and means twin. Rendel Harris who exaggerates very much the cult of the Dioscuri, wishes to regards this as a transformation of a pagan worship of Edessa but the point is at best problematical. The story itself runs briefly as follows: At the division of the Apostles, India fell to the lot of Thomas, but he declared his inability to go, whereupon his Master Jesus appeared in a supernatural way to Abban, the envoy of Gundafor, an Indian king, and sold Thomas to him to be his slave and serve Gundafor as a carpender. Then Abban and Thomas sailed away until they came to Andrapolis, where they landed and attended the marriage feast of the ruler's daughter. Strange occurences followed and Christ under the appearence of Thomas exhorted the bride to remain a Virgin. Coming to India Thomas undertook to build a palace for Gundafor, but spend the money entrusted to him on the poor. Gundafor imprisoned him; but the Apostle escaped miraculously and Gundafor was converted. Going about the country to preach, Thomas met with strange adventures from dragons and wild asses. Then he came to the city of King Misdai (Syriac Mazdai), where he converted Tertia the wife of Misdai and Vazan his son. After this he was condemed to death, led out of city to a hill, and pierced through with spears by four soldiers. He was buried in the tomb of the ancient kings but his remains were afterwards removed to the West.
Now it is certainly a remarkable fact that about the year A.D. 46 a king was reigning over that part of Asia south of Himalayas now represented by Afghanistan, Baluchistan, the Punjab, and Sind, who bore the name Gondophernes or Guduphara. This we know both from the discovery of coins, some of the Parthian type with Greek legends, others of the Indian types with the legends in an Indian dialect in Kharoshthi characters. Despite sundry minor variations the identity of the name with the Gundafor of the "Acta Thomae" is unmistakable and is hardly disputed. Further we have the evidence of the Takht-i-Bahi inscription, which is dated and which the best specialists accept as establishing the King Gunduphara probably began to reign about A.D. 20 and was still reigning in 46. Again there are excellent reasons for believing that Misdai or Mazdai may well be transformation of a Hindu name made on the Iranian soil. In this case it will probably represent a certain King Vasudeva of Mathura, a successor of Kanishka. No doubt it can be urged that the Gnostic romancer who wrote the "Acta Thomae" may have adopted a few historical Indian names to lend verisimilitude to his fabrication, but as Mr. Fleet urges in his severely critical paper "the names put forward here in connection with St.Thomas are distinctly not such as have lived in Indian story and tradition" (Joul. of R. Asiatic Soc.,1905, p.235).
On the other hand, though the tradition that St. Thomas preached in "India" was widely spread in both East and West and is to be found in such writers as Ephraem Syrus, Ambrose, Paulinus, Jerome, and, later Gregory of Tours and others, still it is difficult to discover any adequate support for the long-accepted belief that St. Thomas pushed his missionary journeys as far south as Mylapore, not far from Madras, and there suffered martyrdom. In that region is still to be found a granite bas-relief cross with a Pahlavi (ancient Persian) inscription dating from the seventh century, and the tradition that it was here that St. Thomas laid down his life is locally very strong. Certain it is also that on the Malabar or west coast of southern India a body of Christians still exists using a form of Syriac for its liturgical language. Whether this Church dates from the time of St. Thomas the Apostle (there was a Syro-Chaldean bishop John "from India and Persia" who assisted at the Council of Nicea in 325) or whether the Gospel was first preached there in 345 owing to the Persian persecution under Shapur (or Sapor), or whether the Syrian missionaries who accompanied a certain Thomas Cana penetrated to the Malabar coast about the year 745 seems difficult to determine. We know only that in the sixth century Cosmas Indicopleustes speaks of the existence of Christians at Male (?Malabar) under a bishop who had been consecrated in Persia. King Alfred the Great is stated in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" to have sent an expedition to establish relations with these Christians of the Far East. On the other hand the reputed relics of St. Thomas were certainly at Edessa in the fourth century, and there they remained until they were translated to Chios in 1258 and towards to Ortona. The improbable suggestion that St. Thomas preached in America (American Eccles. Rev., 1899, pp.1-18) is based upon a misunderstanding of the text of the Acts of Apostles (i, 8; cf. Berchet "Fonte italiane per la storia della scoperta del Nuovo Mondo", II, 236, and I, 44).
Besides the "Acta Thomae" of which a different and notably shorter redaction exists in Ethiopic and Latin, we have an abbreviated form of a so-called "Gospel of Thomas" originally Gnostic, as we know it now merely a fantastical history of the childhood of Jesus, without any notably heretical colouring. There is also a "Revelatio Thomae", condemned as apocryphal in the Degree of Pope Gelasius, which has recently been recovered from various sources in a fragmentary condition


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/T/stthomas.asp#ixzz1R4TkmFUX

Today's Mass and Readings Online : July 3 - St. Thomas Apostle

Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle
Lectionary: 593


Reading 1EPH 2:19-22

Brothers and sisters:
You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm PS 117:1BC, 2

R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness for us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

Gospel JN 20:24-29

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But Thomas said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
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