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Saint Matthew the Apostle
Saint Matthew the Apostle

Saint Matthew the Apostle

Feast Day
Sep 21, 2012
Accountants, Bankers, Tax Collectors, Perfumes
<p>St. Matthew was a first century Galilean, born in Galilee, and was the son of Alpheus.&nbsp; During the Roman occupation that began in 63 BC, Matthew collected taxes from the Hebrew people for Herod, tetrarch of Galilee.&nbsp; His tax office was located in Capernaum.&nbsp; Jews who became rich doing this, were despised and they were considered outcasts.&nbsp;</p> <p>Jesus called Matthew to be one of the Twelve Disciples.&nbsp; After he was called to come with Jesus, Matthew invited Jesus into his home for a feast.&nbsp; This really upset the Scribes and the Pharisees, criticizing Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners.&nbsp; Jesus answered by saying, &ldquo;I came not to call the righteous, but sinners&rdquo;.&nbsp; (Mark 2:17)&nbsp; When Matthew is mentioned in the New Testament he is sometimes found paired with Thomas.&nbsp; The New Testament records that as a disciple, he followed Jesus and was one of the witnesses to the Resurrection and the Ascension.&nbsp; Afterwards they withdrew to the &ldquo;Upper Room&rdquo;.&nbsp; St. Matthew remained in and about Jerusalem and proclaimed that Jesus was the promised Messiah.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>St. Matthew wrote the Gospel of St. Matthew in the New Testament.&nbsp; Because Matthew was a tax collector he would have been literate in both Greek and Aramaic.&nbsp; Greek was the language used in the market place.&nbsp; He is called Levi, son of Alpheus in Mk 2:14 and Lk 5:27. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Matthew is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.&nbsp; He was martyred for his faith, and his feast day is celebrated on September 21<sup>st</sup>.&nbsp; His relics are preserved in the Salerno Cathedral in Italy.&nbsp; He is depicted in art with one of the four living creatures of Revelation 4:7.&nbsp; Usually the one who is in the form of a winged man accompanies him.&nbsp; His image in the paintings by Caravaggio in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome is the theme of &ldquo;gatherer&rdquo; because of his being an Apostle.&nbsp; That is the image most noted by the Western Catholic Church.&nbsp;</p> <h1><strong><span style="font-size: medium;">Practical Take Away</span></strong></h1> <p>St. Matthew went from being someone who was despised, and hated as a Tax collector for Herod, to being a Saint.&nbsp; He was called by Jesus to be one of the Twelve, and he accepted.&nbsp; He knew that it would bring him a life of reward in the here after &ndash; as he would be with Jesus again in Heaven, even if it would cost him his life here on earth.&nbsp; He was there for the Resurrection and witnessed the Ascension.&nbsp; He was eventually martyred for the faith, but converted countless of thousands to Christianity in a short time period.&nbsp; He died in 34 AD.&nbsp; What are we willing to do to bring Jesus into the lives of those around us?&nbsp; Are willing to lay down our lives just as St. Matthew did?&nbsp; Nearly 2,000 years later, one can go to Rome and venerate his relics at the Salerno Cathedral in Italy.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p>