+ 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.
+ The Roman Martyrology attests 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.
+ 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 prayer and reflection
“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. St. John tells us: Whoever says he abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way in which he walked… On hearing Christ’s voice, we open the door to receive him, as it were, when we freely assent to his promptings and when we give ourselves over to doing what must be done. Christ, since he dwells in the hearts of his chosen ones through the grace of his love, enters so that he might eat with us and we with him. He ever refreshes us by the light of his presence insofar as we progress in our devotion to and longing for the things of heaven. He himself is delighted by such a pleasing banquet.”—Saint Bede the Venerable
On September 21 we also remember Blessed Rosario Livantino. A single layman, he was an attorney who later became a Deputy Public Prosecutor and judge, concentrating on fighting organized crime. He was murdered by the mafia on September 21, 1990, on the road between Canicatti and Agrigento, Italy, and was beatified in 2021.
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,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.