The Feast of St. Matthew

Today, September 21, is the Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. Matthew was likely born in Galilee and worked as a tax collector, a hated profession at the time.

According to the Gospel, Matthew was working at a collection booth in Capernaum when Christ came to him and extended the invitation "Follow me." Matthew immediately became a disciple.

The Gospel account of Matthew tells the same story as that found in the other three Gospels, so scholars have confidence in its authenticity. His book is the first of the four Gospels found in the New Testament.

Matthew wrote his Gospel account around A.D. 41–50, several years after the death of Christ. He wrote it in Aramaic* in the hope that his narrative would convince others that Jesus was in fact the Messiah and that his kingdom had been established in a spiritual sense. His relics are said to be preserved in Salerno, Italy.

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*”Matthew, who is also Levi, and who from a publican came to be an apostle, first of all composed a Gospel of Christ in Judaea in the Hebrew [Aramaic] language and characters for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed. Who translated it after that in Greek is not sufficiently ascertained. Moreover, the Hebrew itself is preserved to this day in the library at Caesarea, which the martyr Pamphilus so diligently collected. I also was allowed by the Nazarenes who use this volume in the Syrian city of Beroea [modern-day Aleppo] to copy it.”

— St. Jerome (A.D. 347?–420; scholar, first translator of the Bible into Latin): De viris inlustribus (On Illustrious Men), chapter III.

Dianne Green