Saint Matthias

Last updated

Saint Matthias
Saint Matthias.PNG
Saint Matthias from the workshop of Simone Martini
Apostle
Born1st century AD
Judaea, Roman Empire
Diedc. 80 AD
Jerusalem, Judaea or in Colchis (modern-day Georgia)
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Churches
Anglican Communion
Lutheran Church
Canonized Pre-congregation
Feast 14 May (Roman Catholic Church, some places in Anglican Communion)
9 August (Eastern Orthodox Church)
24 February (in leap years 25 February) (pre-1970 General Roman Calendar, Western Rite Orthodoxy, Anglican Communion, Episcopal Church, Lutheran Church)
Attributes axe, Christian martyrdom
Patronage alcoholics; carpenters; tailors; Gary, Indiana; Great Falls-Billings, Montana; smallpox; hope; perseverance

Matthias (Koine Greek: Μαθθίας, MaththíasGreek pronunciation:  [maθˈθi.as] , from Hebrew מַתִּתְיָהוּ‎ Mattiṯyā́hū; Coptic : ⲙⲁⲑⲓⲁⲥ; died c. 80 AD) was, according to the Acts of the Apostles (written c. AD 80–90), chosen by the apostles to replace Judas Iscariot following the latter's betrayal of Jesus and his subsequent death. [1] His calling as an apostle is unique, in that his appointment was not made personally by Jesus, who had already ascended into heaven, and it was also made before the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the early Church.

Contents

Biography

There is no mention of a Matthias among the lists of disciples or followers of Jesus in the three synoptic gospels, but according to Acts, he had been with Jesus from his baptism by John until his Ascension. In the days following, Peter proposed that the assembled disciples, who numbered about 120, nominate two men to replace Judas. They chose Joseph called Barsabas (whose surname was Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, "Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all [men], shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place." [Acts 1:24–25] Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was numbered with the eleven apostles. [2]

No further information about Matthias is to be found in the canonical New Testament. Even his name is variable: the Syriac version of Eusebius calls him throughout not Matthias but "Tolmai", not to be confused with Bartholomew (which means Son of Tolmai), who was one of the twelve original Apostles; Clement of Alexandria refers once to Zacchaeus in a way which could be read as suggesting that some identified him with Matthias; [3] the Clementine Recognitions identify him with Barnabas; Hilgenfeld thinks he is the same as Nathanael in the Gospel of John.

Ministry

The tradition of the Greeks says that St. Matthias planted the faith about Cappadocia and on the coasts of the Caspian Sea, residing chiefly near the port Issus. [4]

According to Nicephorus (Historia eccl., 2, 40), Matthias first preached the Gospel in Judaea, then in Aethiopia (by the region of Colchis, now in modern-day Georgia) and was there stoned to death. [2] An extant Coptic Acts of Andrew and Matthias, places his activity similarly in "the city of the cannibals" in Aethiopia. [lower-alpha 1] [5] A marker placed in the ruins of the Roman fortress at Gonio (Apsaros) in the modern Georgian region of Adjara claims that Matthias is buried at that site.

The Synopsis of Dorotheus contains this tradition: "Matthias preached the Gospel to barbarians and meat-eaters in the interior of Ethiopia, where the sea harbor of Hyssus is, at the mouth of the river Phasis. He died at Sebastopolis, and was buried there, near the Temple of the Sun." [2]

Alternatively, another tradition maintains that Matthias was stoned at Jerusalem by the local populace, and then beheaded (cf. Tillemont, Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire ecclesiastique des six premiers siècles, I, 406–7). According to Hippolytus of Rome, Matthias died of old age in Jerusalem.

Clement of Alexandria observed (Stromateis vi.13.):

Not that they became apostles through being chosen for some distinguished peculiarity of nature, since also Judas was chosen along with them. But they were capable of becoming apostles on being chosen by Him who foresees even ultimate issues. Matthias, accordingly, who was not chosen along with them, on showing himself worthy of becoming an apostle, is substituted for Judas.

Writings

Surviving fragments of the lost Gospels of Matthias [6] attribute it to Matthias, but Early Church Fathers attributed it to heretical writings in the 2nd century.

Veneration

His reliquary in Padua. Santa Giustina (Padua) - Tomb of Saint Matthias.jpg
His reliquary in Padua.

The feast of Saint Matthias was included in the Roman Calendar in the 11th century and celebrated on the sixth day to the Calends of March (24 February usually, but 25 February in leap years). In the revision of the General Roman Calendar in 1969, his feast was transferred to 14 May, so as not to celebrate it in Lent but instead in Eastertide close to the Solemnity of the Ascension, [7] the event after which the Acts of the Apostles recounts that Matthias was selected to be ranked with the Twelve Apostles.

The Eastern Rites of the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrate his feast on 9 August. Yet the Western Rite parishes of the Orthodox Church continues the old Roman Rite of 24 and 25 February in leap years.[ citation needed ]

The Church of England's Book of Common Prayer , as well as other older common prayer books in the Anglican Communion, [8] celebrates Matthias on 24 February. According to the newer Common Worship liturgy, he is celebrated on 14 May with a Festival, although he may be celebrated on 24 February, if desired. [9] In the Episcopal Church as well as some in the Lutheran Church, including the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and the Lutheran Church–Canada, his feast remains on 24 February. [10] In Evangelical Lutheran Worship , used by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the feast date for Matthias is on 14 May. [11]

It is claimed that St Matthias the Apostle's remains were brought to Italy through Empress Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine I (the Great); part of these relics would be interred in the Abbey of Santa Giustina, Padua, and the remaining in the Abbey of St. Matthias, Trier, Germany. According to Greek sources, the remains of the apostle are buried in the castle of Gonio-Apsaros, Georgia.[ citation needed ] [12]

Notes

  1. The Ethiopia/Aethiopia mentioned here as well as in the quote from the "Synopsis of Dorotheus" is that region identified with an ancient Egyptian military colony in the Caucasus mountains on the river Alazani.

See also

Related Research Articles

Last Supper Final meal that, in the Gospel accounts, Jesus shared with his apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion

The Last Supper is the final meal that, in the Gospel accounts, Jesus shared with his apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper is commemorated by Christians especially on Maundy Thursday. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as "Holy Communion" or "The Lord's Supper".

Saint Timothy Early Christian evangelist and bishop from Roman Anatolia

Timothy was an early Christian evangelist and the first Christian bishop of Ephesus, who tradition relates died around the year AD 97.

Thomas the Apostle Early Christian, one of the twelve apostles and a saint

Thomas the Apostle, also called Didymus ("twin"), was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Thomas is commonly known as "Doubting Thomas" because he doubted Jesus' resurrection when first told of it ; later, he confessed his faith, "My Lord and my God," on seeing Jesus' crucifixion wounds.

John the Apostle apostle of Jesus; son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of James; traditionally identified with John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, and the Beloved Disciple

John the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Generally listed as the youngest apostle, he was the son of Zebedee and Salome or Joanna. His brother was James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles. The Church Fathers identify him as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder and the Beloved Disciple, and testify that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one to die of natural causes. However, modern scholars believe these to be separate people. The traditions of most Christian denominations have held that John the Apostle is the author of several books of the New Testament, although this has been disputed by some scholars.

Pentecost Christian holy day commemorating the New Testament account of Holy Spirits descent upon the Apostles

The Christian holy day of Pentecost, which is celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles.

Liturgical year annually recurring fixed sequence of Christian parties and festive seasons

The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years.

Philip the Apostle Christian saint and apostle

Philip the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to New Testament. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia.

Canonical hours Christian concept of periods of prayer throughout the day

In the practice of Christianity, canonical hours mark the divisions of the day in terms of periods of fixed prayer at regular intervals. A book of hours normally contains a version of, or selection from, such prayers.

James, brother of Jesus brother of Jesus, according to the New Testament

James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord, was the brother of Jesus, according to the New Testament. He was an early leader of the Jerusalem Church of the Apostolic Age, to which Paul was also affiliated. He died as a martyr in 62 or 69 AD.

Simon the Zealot apostle of Jesus

Simon the Zealot or Simon the Canaanite or Simon the Cananaean was one of the most obscure among the apostles of Jesus. A few pseudepigraphical writings were connected to him, but Saint Jerome does not include him in De viris illustribus written between 392–393 AD.

Philip the Evangelist 1st-century Christian saint

Saint Philip the Evangelist appears several times in the Acts of the Apostles. He was one of the Seven chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem. He preached and reportedly performed miracles in Samaria, and met and baptised an Ethiopian man, a eunuch, on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, traditionally marking the start of the Ethiopian Church. Later, Philip lived in Caesarea Maritima with his four daughters who foretold, where he was visited by Paul the Apostle.

Byzantine Rite liturgical rite of most Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches

The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek Catholic Churches, and in a modified form, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism. Its development began during the fourth century in Constantinople and it is now the second most-used ecclesiastical rite in Christendom after the Roman Rite.

Jude the Apostle one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus; traditionally identified with Jude the brother of Jesus

Jude, also known as Judas Thaddaeus, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. He is generally identified with Thaddeus, and is also variously called Jude of James, Jude Thaddaeus, Judas Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus. He is sometimes identified with Jude, the brother of Jesus, but is clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus prior to his crucifixion. Catholic writer Michal Hunt suggests that Judas Thaddaeus became known as Jude after early translators of the New Testament from Greek into English sought to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and subsequently abbreviated his forename. Most versions of the New Testament in languages other than English and French refer to Judas and Jude by the same name.

Great feasts in the Eastern Orthodox Church

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus, called Pascha (Easter), is the greatest of all holy days and as such it is called the "feast of feasts". Immediately below it in importance, there is a group of Twelve Great Feasts. Together with Pascha, these are the most significant dates on the Orthodox liturgical calendar. Eight of the great feasts are in honor of Jesus Christ, while the other four are dedicated to the Virgin Mary — the Theotokos.

Joanna, wife of Chuza Christian saint

Joanna is a woman mentioned in the gospels who was healed by Jesus and later supported him and his disciples in their travels, one of the women recorded in the Gospel of Luke as accompanying Jesus and the twelve and a witness to Jesus' resurrection. She was the wife of Chuza, who managed the household of Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee. Her name means "Yahweh has been gracious", a variation of the name "Anna" which means "grace" or "favour”.

Gonio Fortress fortress

Gonio fortress, is a Roman fortification in Adjara, Georgia, on the Black Sea, 15 km south of Batumi, at the mouth of the Chorokhi river. The village sits 4 km north of the Turkish border. Its name was connected with the myth of Medea and her brother Absyrtus.

Saint Joseph Christian saint; husband of Mary and father of Jesus

Joseph is a figure in the canonical gospels who was married to Mary, Jesus' mother, and was Jesus' legal father. According to Epiphanius and the apocryphal History of Joseph the Carpenter Joseph was the father of James, Joses, Jude, Simon, and at least two daughters from a marriage which predated the one with Mary, a belief that is accepted by some Christian denominations. Perspectives on Joseph as a historical figure are distinguished by some persons from a theological reading of the Gospel texts.

Outline of Christianity Overview of and topical guide to Christianity

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Christianity:

Apostles The primary disciples of Jesus

In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, particularly the Twelve Apostles, were the primary disciples of Jesus according to the New Testament and the Qur’an. During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus.

Saint Stephen 1st-century early Christian martyr and saint

Stephen, traditionally venerated as the protomartyr or first martyr of Christianity, was according to the Acts of the Apostles a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy at his trial, he made a long speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who would later become a follower of Jesus and known as Paul the Apostle.

References

Citations

  1. Acts 1
  2. 1 2 3 Jacque Eugène. Jacquier, "St. Matthias." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 10 August 2014
  3. Stromata Book 4 Ch 6 The New Advent Translation says "It is said, therefore, that Zaccheus, or, according to some, Matthew, the chief of the publicans, on hearing that the Lord had deigned to come to him, said, Lord, and if I have taken anything by false accusation, I restore him fourfold;" but the Greek has 4.6.35.2 Ζακχαῖον τοίνυν, οἳ δὲ Ματθίαν φασίν, ἀρχιτελώνην, ἀκηκοότα τοῦ κυρίου καταξιώσαντος πρὸς αὐτὸν γενέσθαι, ἰδοὺ τὰ ἡμίση τῶν ὑπαρχόντων μου δίδωμι ἐλεημοσύνην φάναι, κύριε, καὶ εἴ τινός τι ἐσυκοφάντησα, τετραπλοῦν ἀποδίδωμι. ἐφ' οὗ καὶ ὁ σωτὴρ εἶπεν· can just about be read as "by some said to be Matthias")
  4. Butler, Alban. "Saint Matthias, Apostle", The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints, D. & J. Sadlier, & Company, 1864
  5. See "Egyptian Colony and Language in the Caucasus and its Anthropological Relations," by Hyde Clarke, 1874
  6. "The Traditions of Matthias". Earlychristianwritings.com. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  7. "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 92; cf. p. 117
  8. "The Prayer Book Society of Canada " The Calendar". The Prayer Book Society of Canada. 16 October 2013.
  9. "web site". Oremus.org. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  10. "Misc. Info. on Minor Festivals – The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod". Archived from the original on 6 January 2011.
  11. Evangelical Lutheran Worship , (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2007), 15
  12. Kakhidze, Emzar (2008). "Apsaros: A Roman Fort in Southwestern Georgia". In Bilde, Pia Guldager; Petersen, Jane Hjarl (eds.). Meetings of Cultures – Between Conflicts and Coexistence. Black Sea Studies. 8. Aarhus University Press. pp. 303–332..

Sources