Above: St. Matthias
Image in the Public Domain
The Thirteenth Apostle
The Listed Lections for This Feast Day:
John 15:1, 6-16
Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
We know very little about St. Matthias. He was originally among the outer circle of 70 or so of Jesus’ disciples (the twelve apostles forming the inner circle). After the suicide of Judas Iscariot the Eleven decided to restore their number to twelve, so they identified two promising candidates: St. Matthias and Joseph Barsabbas Justus, about whom we know even less. They prayed, cast lots, and selected St. Matthias.
St. Matthias devoted the rest of his life to preaching about Jesus, a sufficiently saintly activity. Tradition states he became a martyr circa 80 C.E., either at Jerusalem or at Colchis, Georgia.
St. Matthias is not the only apostle about whom we have little information; some of the Eleven join this category. Yet we, who stand on their shoulders, should never forget them and how much we owe to their witness.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JUNE 12, 2010
THE FEAST OF ENMEGAHBOWH, EPISCOPAL PRIEST
Revised on December 6, 2016