|The carvings of the Twelve Apostles round the apse in the inner Shrine of Saint Jude are by Anthony Foster. The design was based on the Malmesbury Apostles. St. Paul has been substituted for Judas Iscariot.|
Happy Feast Day of Saint Matthew the Apostle - fellow Apostle to Saint Jude.
Saint Matthew was among the earliest followers and apostles of Jesus. The Apostle is mentioned in Matthew 9:9 and Matthew 10:3 as a publican who, while sitting at the "receipt of custom" in Capernaum, was called to follow Jesus.
He was a first century Galilean and the son of Alpheus. His fellow Jews would have despised him because he would have been seen as collaborating with the Roman occupation force. After Jesus called him, Matthew invited him to his home for a feast. However, the Pharisees and scribes criticised Jesus for eating with a sinner and tax collector. However, Jesus responded with: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32)
Like Saint Jude, Matthew was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus. Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. The church hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr.
Saint Matthew, pray for us.
Let us pray:
O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist: Grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.