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Saint Matthias, 1610-1612, by Peter Paul Rubens, oil on panel, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

 Feast of Saint Matthias the Apostle

(1st c.)

St. Matthias the Apostle followed Jesus during his entire earthly ministry and was one of his 72 disciples. Matthias was chosen by the 11 Apostles to replace Judas Iscariot after his betrayal of Christ and subsequent suicide. After Christ’s Ascension into heaven, St. Matthias devoted himself to preaching Christianity among the pagans, some of them barbarians and cannibals, all over Judea, Cappadocia, and Ethiopia for over 30 years. Many miracles are ascribed to him as the pagans sought to kill him: that he was unharmed after being forced to drink poison, that he once hid by becoming invisible, and that the earth opened up and swallowed his attackers. St. Matthias also preached the need for mortification of the flesh as an aid to growth in holiness. Eventually, at God’s appointed time, he was martyred for the cause of Christ, though there are conflicting traditions as to exactly where and how.

St. Matthias is the patron saint of carpenters, tailors, and reformed alcoholics.

His feast day is May 14th.

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The Church is “one, holy, catholic, apostolic” (Nicene Creed).  One aspect of the apostolic Church is that it is founded on the historic testimony of Jesus’ bodily Resurrection.  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “apostolic” in this sense means “chosen witnesses of the Lord’s Resurrection and so the foundation stones of the Church” (860).  This is why the Apostles met together after the Ascension of the Lord to replace the traitor Judas.  After prayer and the casting of lots, Matthias joined the ranks of the Twelve, as a chosen witness to the Resurrection of the Lord.”

First published at Magnificat, May 2020


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‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen.’ This first public prayer of the Church begged God to reveal the man who was to take the place of Judas after his betrayal of the Lord and suicide. Matthias, whose name literally means ‘gift of Yahweh,’ was chosen. According to Clement of Alexandria, Matthias was one of the seventy-two disciples that Jesus sent out (Lk 10:1). He joined the Twelve as a privileged witness to the Resurrection of the Lord. His apostolic ministry was linked with Judea, Ethiopia, and Jerusalem.”

Magnificat Magazine, May 2021


Saint Matthias, witness to the Resurrection of Jesus, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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