No one was more shunned by the Jews than a publican, who was a Jew that collected taxes on behalf of the Roman rulers. Most publicans were seen by the other Jews as one who robbed their own people and made a large personal profit. They were not allowed to trade, eat, or even pray with other Jews.
One day, while seated at his table of books and money, Jesus looked at Matthew and said two words: "Follow me." This was all that was needed to make Matthew rise, leaving his pieces of silver to follow Christ. The Jews were surprised to see Jesus with a tax collector, but Jesus explained that he had come "not to call the just, but sinners."
St. Matthew, who’s feast day is September 21st, is known to us principally as an Evangelist, with his Gospel being the first in position in the New Testament. A particular value of his Gospel was that it was written to convince the Jews that their anticipated Messiah had come in the person of Jesus. As an apostle of Jesus, Matthew witnessed Christ's resurrection after death, his ascension into heaven and was present at Pentecost. Matthew also recorded Jesus’ commissioning for the apostles to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt 28:19)
Not much else is known about Matthew. According to tradition, he preached in Egypt and Ethiopia and further places East. Tradition teaches that he died as a martyr.
Patron: Accountants; bankers; bookkeepers; customs officers; security guards; stockbrokers; tax collectors
Prayer to St. Matthew
O Glorious St. Matthew,
through the grace of God
our Father, you gave us
the Holy Gospel, which
brings us joy and life.
Inspired by your example,
I ask for your assistance
in all my needs.
Help me to follow Christ
and remain faithful to His service.