(St.). Patron saint of architects. The tradition is that Gondoforus, king of the Indies, gave him a large sum of money to build a palace. St. Thomas spent it on the poor, “thus erecting a superb palace in heaven.”
The symbol of St. Thomas is a builder's square, because he was the patron of masons and architects. Christians of St. Thomas. In the southern parts of Malabar there were some 200,000 persons who called themselves “Christians of St. Thomas” when Gama discovered India. They had been 1,300 years under the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Babylon, who appointed their materene (archbishop). When Gama arrived the head of the Malabar Christians was Jacob, who styled himself “Metropolitan of India and China.” In 1625 a stone was found near Siganfu with a cross on it, and containing a list of the materenes of India and China.
Sir Thomas. The dogmatical prating squire in Crabbe's Borough (letter x.).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894