Sept. 21 is the feast day of St. Matthew the Apostle. The Catholic Church will be celebrating his life and martyrdom during the holy Mass.
St. Matthew is also known as “Levi”. Matthew was a tax collector by trade. Tax collectors were despised by most of the people. He was called by Jesus to be one of the twelve Apostles.
It is believed that St. Matthew is the author of the first gospel. This gospel was written in Aramaic, which was the language of the Hebrew people. The Gospel of Matthew is referred to as the “teaching gospel”. It contains most of the parables of Jesus and the Beatitudes, which were given to us by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount.
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Matthew is believed to have preached in Ethiopia. Reports of his martyrdom vary greatly. It is not known if he was burned, stoned, beheaded or killed with an ax. However, the Church considers him to be a martyr who died for the faith.
St. Matthew is considered the patron saint of bankers and accountants.
Glorious St. Matthew, in your Gospel you portray Jesus as the longed-for Messiah who fulfilled the Prophets of the Old Covenant and as the new Lawgiver who founded a Church of the New Covenant. Obtain for us the grace to see Jesus living in His Church and to follow his teachings in our lives on earth so that we may live forever with him in heaven.