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And today we celebrate...

Friday, September 21
The Feast of Saint Matthew

The tax collector called to be an Apostle

MATTHEW THE APOSTLE
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His story

+ Honored as the author of the Gospel that bears his name, Matthew was born in Capernaum and is listed as one of the Twelve Apostles.

+ Called “Levi” by both Mark and Luke, the Gospels tell us that he was a tax collector before choosing to follow Christ.

+ Although we know nothing certain about his ministry after Pentecost, tradition relates that he preached the Gospel in Judea and later traveled Ethiopia or Persia.

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+ The Roman Martyrology states that Matthew was martyred in Persia and his relics were transferred to Salerno, Italy, in the tenth century.

+ Saint Matthew is honored as the patron saint of accountants, bankers, and bookkeepers.

Worth knowing

The Gospel of Matthew was composed for a community that included many Jewish Christians. And so, in this gospel we find many references to the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) and the many ways Jesus fulfills the promises and prophecies found there. What we now know as the Gospel of Matthew was composed around the year 85 and incorporates material from the older Gospel of Mark and other oral traditions about Jesus.

For reflection

Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him: Follow me. Jesus saw Matthew, not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with his merciful understanding of men.

He saw the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: Follow me. This following meant imitating the pattern of his life – not just walking after him.”—Saint Bede the Venerable

Prayer

O God, who with untold mercy
were pleased to choose as an Apostle
Saint Matthew, the tax collector,
grant that, sustained by his example and intercession,
we may merit to hold firm in following you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
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