The Apostles: Thaddeus of Edessa

The name Thaddeus is of Aramaic origin and means heart or God’s gift.

Edessa is located in Upper Mesopotamia in Greece and under Roman rule during the time of the early church.

Based on early Christian writings, Thaddeus was a Jew who came to Jerusalem for a festival and heard John the Baptist preaching. He was baptized by John the Baptist and remained in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, eventually becoming a follower of Jesus.

He was chosen to be one of the seventy disciples and after Jesus ascension started preaching in Mesopotamia, Syria and Persia.

One ancient text states he was sent by the apostle Thomas to Edessa, as a preacher and evangelists. While there he healed the king who had fallen ill.

It’s believed he was someone different from the disciple Judas Thaddeus, but we cannot know for sure.

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