July 3, 2017
Georg Pencz, The Doubting Thomas, c.1540, engraving, 1 9/16 x 2 9/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
In many Western Christianity traditions, June 3 is the Feast of St. Thomas. Originally celebrated near December 21, the date was changed so as not to interfere with Advent celebrations. Thomas, one of Jesus Christ’s twelve disciples, is perhaps most known for his interaction with the resurected Savior, expressing doubt that the possibility that his Master could truly be alive again. Thomas went on to travel and preach for many years. Tradition states that he was martyred in India.
The artwork above, by German artist Georg Pencz, is an engraving of the moment when Thomas recognizes the risen Lord, as recorded in John:
“The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”