Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Feast of St Matthew the Apostle

"It came to pass one day at Capernaum, that Christ went forth and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom; and he said unto him: Follow me.  And he left all, rose up, and followed him.  And Levi made him a great feast in his own house.  This Levi is the Apostle and Evangelist Matthew.  After that Christ was risen again from the dead, and while he was yet in Judea, before he set forth for that land which had fallen to the lot of his preaching, he wrote the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Hebrew tongue, for the sake of them of the circumcision who had believed.  His was the first written of the four Gospels.  Thereafter he went to Ethiopia, and there preached the Gospel, confirming his preaching with many miracles.

Of his miracles, the most notable was that he raised the King's daughter from the dead, and thereby brought to believe in Christ the King her father, his wife, and all that region.  After that the King was dead, Hirtacus, who came after him, was fain to take his daughter Iphigenia to wife, but by the exhortation of Matthew she had made vow of her maidenhood to God, and stood firm to that holy resolution, for which cause Hirtacus commanded to slay the Apostle at the Altar while he was performing the mystery.  He crowned the dignity of the Apostleship with the glory of martyrdom upon the 21st day of September.  His body had been brought to Salerno, where it was afterwards buried in a Church dedicated in his name during the Popedom of Gregory VII, and there it is held in great worship and sought to by great gatherings of people."

-- From the 1911 Breviary of Pius X (1950 ed)

** The Martyrdom of St Matthew by Caravaggio

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