Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
MATTHEW, also called Levi, a son of Alpheus, and brother of the holy apostle James the Less, was a receiver in the Roman custom-house on Lake Tiberias. Such officers were hated by the Jews for their injustice, and were called publicans, or public sinners. While he was sitting at the receipt of custom he was called by Christ to be one of His disciples, and immediately leaving his lucrative office and all that he had, followed Him. On account of his distinguished zeal he was afterwards received into the number of the apostles. After the descent of the Holy Ghost he remained in Judea, preached the Gospel, wrote the passion of Our Lord as coutained in his gospel, and lived strictly in the fear of God. At a later day he travelled through Persia, Ethiopia, and other countries. At last he was killed at the altar, by command of King Hutacus, for opposing his marriage with the Princess Iphigenia, who, by Saint Matthew’s direction, had vowed to God perpetual virginity. His holy remains were brought to Salermo in the tenth century. Thus may great sinners become great saints by following faithfully, like Saint Matthew, the voice of God.
May we be assisted, O Lord, by the prayers of the blessed apostle Matthew, that what of ourselves we are unable to obtain may be given to us by his intercession. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.