St. Thomas the Apostle was one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. He was also called Didimos, which mean ‘twin’ because of the paired fingers of his hand. The Bible portrays him as a man of bravery and strong attachment to his Teacher. Jesus made the revelation that ‘I’m the way, the truth and the life’ (St. John 14:6) as an answer to the question of St Thomas. After his resurrection, when Jesus appeared before his apostles, St Thomas was not present there. When his colleagues told him later that they saw Jesus, he was reluctant to believe that. He proclaimed that “unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it” (St John 20:26). It was his earnest desire to see his resurrected Master. He also wanted to have the same fortune experienced by his colleagues. Jesus respected his disciple’s wish and made an appearance again before the group in which St Thomas was also present.
Jesus invited him to put his fingers on his wounds and get convinced. In the ecstasy of that moment, St Thomas addressed Jesus “My Lord and My God”—which is a basic creed of Christian faith. The tradition says that when St Thomas put his paired fingers in Jesus’ wounds they got separated and became normal and other apostles kissed his hands, which touched the resurrected Jesus Christ. The Christian practice of kissing the hands of bishops and priests originated from this.