St. Matthias

Friends in Christ, today is the Feast of St. Matthias, the Apostle. According to tradition, Matthias was one of the 72 disciples that the Lord sent out, two-by-two during his ministry, and this is affirmed by the historian Eusebius and by St. Jerome as well. He had been there with Jesus and the apostles from day one, and he had seen Jesus resurrected, this is known from the Acts of the Apostles.
.
What more do we know about St. Matthias? He was assigned to preach the gospel in Judea, and in so doing he wrought many miracles. Later, he went to Cappadocia, the mountainous part of central Turkey, then to the region by the Caspian Sea. He endured persecution and ill-treatment from the savage people with whom he worked; he was martyred by crucifixion and then chopped apart.
.
A legend tells us that enemies once gave Matthias a poisoned drink that had blinded everyone who drank it, but he drank it in the name of Christ, and it did him no harm. More than 250 people had been blinded by the drink, and Matthias restored their sight by laying his hand on each of them.
.
Matthias received so many blessings and graces from Christ – but these virtues and gifts were built upon solid human virtues, which they must be. In his life, it is said that Matthias always tried to be virtuous. He was careful to put into practice what he taught others, he persevered with patience when things were difficult, and was not over-confident or proud when things went well. Above all, he was known for purity. Clement of Alexandria says[i] that he was remarkable for his insistence on mortifying the flesh to subdue sensual appetites, a lesson he learned from Christ himself.
.
Matthias replaced Judas who turned away from the Faith. In our own life, even among friends and relatives there are those who have left the Way. But we should be like St. Matthias, who undaunted, nevertheless continues on. He is the patron saint of recovering alcoholics, carpenters, and tailors.

.

 

[i] He repeats the actual words of St. Matthias: ‘It behooves us to combat the flesh, and make use of it, without pampering it by unlawful gratifications. As to the soul, we must develop her power by faith and knowledge.’

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation