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What happened to St. Matthias?

St. Matthias

André Beauneveu | Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Philip Kosloski - published on 05/14/22

After becoming the "replacement" apostle, St. Matthias may have founded a church in Cappadocia.

St. Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as one of the twelve apostles. He witnessed the events of the resurrection and was among the group who followed Jesus from the earliest days.

What happened to St. Matthias?

Some traditions claim that Matthias traveled to Ethiopia, while others say that he remained in Judea. A reliable tradition states that Matthias founded a church in Cappadocia and ministered to Christians on the coasts of the Caspian Sea. It is said a particular feature of his preaching was an appeal to personal mortification to purify oneself from the desires of the flesh. St. Clement of Alexandria ascribes the following quote to 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.”

It is believed that he died a martyr’s death, and was beheaded with an axe in Colchis at the hands of the many pagans there.

While little is known about his life, the appointment of Matthias as an apostle is the earliest evidence the Catholic Church has of Apostolic Succession, explaining why even today popes and bishops are chosen to replace those who went before them.

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