According to doctrine, Thomas was one of Jesus’ disciples. When Jesus first appeared after the crucifixion, Thomas was not with the others and refused to believe the story until he could see it for himself. Because of this, Jesus again visited his companions and invited Thomas to touch the wound in his side; only then did Thomas believe and he bowed down before the miracle. Thomas also appears as a sceptic later on, during the miraculous Assumption of the Virgin Mary; again he was not present and when he expressed his doubts, the Virgin Mary threw her girdle down to him from above. Thomas’ later life is shrouded in mystery; it appears he may have left to spread the faith among the Parthians and travelled as far as India where he is reported to have been killed by a spear in the year 72. People who need the evidence of their own eyes and hands in order to believe are often described as “doubting Thomases”; in this sense, Thomas was a modern man with a sceptical view of the world. Saint Thomas is the patron saint of architects, builders, surveyors, carpenters, masons, stonemasons and workers on building sites, he intercedes for cases of backache and blindness and is a bringer of good marriages.