Lay for the Day 3rd
feast of St Thomas the apostle, Doubting Thomas. Ancient tradition
says Thomas travelled to India, where he was martyred at Mylapore, near
Madras. When the Portuguese reached India in 1522, they found his tomb
there. As early as the 9th century, from as far away as the kingdom of
Wessex, in what was not yet called England, King Alfred the Great recorded
sending alms to India to St Thomas.
is sometimes represented with a builders T-square, referring to
a legend that he built a palace for a king in India. Hence he is a patron
saint of architects, builders and carpenters.
the book of Praises:
Of a Builder
Shes climbing in the
quick of night
Diagonally up the air,
Legs uppermost. Caught in the light,
Shes no bigger than a snowflake
Floating, symmetrical and white,
Along a thread as fine as hair
Her glimmering haste doesnt shake.
A pendulum behind its glass
Keeps nudging the dark into day,
A small wakeful sun of dull brass.
A good two feet, from the lampshade
To the dried poppies in a vase,
Shes stretched her fragile founding stay
A larger plan than Cheops made.
Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar