Day 39, Novena for Our Nation – One Thing Necessary


Wow… LOOK at this loving ALTAR… and meditate on these opening words… GOD is inviting us to spend QUALITY time with HIM!

DAY 39 – MARY, QUEEN OF PROPHETS, PRAY FOR US

ONE THING NECESSARY 

Pope Benedict XVI said, “The heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind … the Evil One has power in this world, as we experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God.”

This brings us to the key to Pope John Paul II’s master plan for the new millennium, as he asks us to set aside our disconnected busy-ness, and to start fresh by contemplating the face of Christ. It is clear that the Holy Father was encouraging us to place our emphasis on reconnecting to the Divine Life of God, which is classically referred to as the unum necessarium, the one thing necessary.

The “one thing necessary” constitutes the essential foundation for the interior life and consists in hearing the word of God and living by it (I will serve!). It stems from the story of Martha and Mary (Lk 10:38-42), where we first see that, amazingly, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity was sitting right in their living room. Now, Martha remains busy with the good and noble protocol of hospitality while Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, her eyes locked on his holy face, peering into his soul, hanging on his every word. Mary is actually in adoration, soaking in everything our Lord wants to give her. I like to say that she is “Mary-nating” – soaking in the gusher of God’s graces.

When Martha objects to Mary’s lack of activity, Jesus tells Martha that she remains anxious and upset about many things while Mary has chosen the better portion, the “one thing necessary” (unum necessarium). Mary was the one who was making the guest truly feel welcomed while Martha remained detached, going through the motions of the demands of protocol. God is light and love and truth who brings order and meaning and serenity to our lives. While we remain disconnected from our Source, we remain easily agitated and frustrated in our disordered and chaotic existence as we continue to walk in darkness. (Excerpt from Church Militant Field Manual).

PRAY A ROSARY

Choose either:

  1. Rosary of the Day: Sorrowful Mysteries
  2. Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Glorious Mysteries

PRAYERS FOR TRADITIONAL 54 DAY NOVENA

THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY

Prayer before the recitation: Sign of the cross. Hail Mary.

In petition (first 27 days): Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At thy feet I humbly kneel to offer thee a Crown of Roses, full-blown white roses, tinged with the red of the passion, to remind thee of thy glories, fruits of the sufferings of thy Son and thee, each rose recalling to thee a holy mystery, each 10 bound together with my petition for a particular grace. O Holy Queen, dispenser of God’s graces, and Mother of all who invoke thee! Thou canst not look upon my gift and fail to see its binding. As thou receivest my gift, so wilt thou receive my petition; from thy bounty thou wilt give me the favor I so earnestly and trustingly seek. I despair of nothing that I ask of thee. Show thyself my Mother!

In thanksgiving (last 27 days):Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At thy feet I gratefully kneel to offer thee a Crown of Roses full blown white roses, tinged with the red of the passion, to remind thee of thy glories, fruits of the sufferings of thy Son and thee each rose recalling to thee a holy mystery; each ten bound together with my petition for a particular grace. O Holy Queen, dispenser of God s graces, and Mother of all who invoke thee! thou canst not look upon my gift and fail to see its binding. As thou receivest my gift, so wilt thou receive my thanksgiving; from thy bounty thou bast given me the favor I so earnestly and trustingly sought. I despaired not of what I asked of thee, and thou hast truly shown thyself my Mother.

Say: The Apostles’ Creed, Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

For each of the following Mysteries, say: Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

The Resurrection – Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of faith and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Ascension – Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of hope and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit – Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of charity and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Assumption of Mary – Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of union with Christ and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Coronation of the Blessed Mother – Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of union with thee and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

Say: The Hail Holy Queen.

In petition (first 27 days): Sweet Mother Mary, I offer thee this spiritual communion to bind my bouquets in a wreath to place upon thy brow. O my Mother! Look with favor upon my gift, and in thy love obtain for me (specify request). Hail Mary …

In thanksgiving (last 27 days): Sweet Mother Mary, I offer thee this Spiritual Communion to bind my bouquets in a wreath to place upon thy brow in thanksgiving for (specify request) which thou in thy love hast obtained for me. Hail, Mary, etc.

Order 54 Day Novena Prayers and Reflections in Book Form: HERE

Order 54 Day Novena Prayers and Reflections in Book Form (bundle of 20): HERE

Order Combat Rosary: HERE

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9/24 Feast Day of Our Lady of Mercy (also known as Our Lady of Ransom)

by Fr. Paul Haffner

The story of Our Lady of Ransom begins with St. Peter Nolasco, born in Languedoc about 1189. At the age of 25 he took a vow of chastity and made over his vast estates to the Church. After making a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Montserrat, he went to Barcelona where he began to practice various works of charity.

He conceived the idea of establishing an Order for the redemption of captives seized by the Moors on the seas and in Spain itself; they were being cruelly tormented in their African prisons to make them deny their faith.

He spoke of it to the king of Aragon, James I, who knew him well and already respected him as a saint; for the king had already asked for his prayers when he sent out his armies to combat the Moors, and he attributed his victories to those prayers.

In effect all the Christians of Europe, and above all of Spain, were praying intensely to obtain from God the remedy for the great evil that had befallen them. The divine Will was soon manifested. On one night — August 1, 1218 — the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Peter, to his confessor, Raymund of Penafort, and to the king, and through these three servants of God established a work of the most perfect charity, the redemption of captives.

On that night, while the Church was celebrating the feast of St. Peter in Chains, the Virgin Mary appeared first to St. Peter, saying that she indeed desired the establishment of a religious Order, later known as the Mercedarians, bearing the name of her mercy. Its members would undertake to deliver Christian captives and offer themselves, if necessary, as a ransom pledge.

The Order, thus solemnly established in Spain, was approved by Pope Gregory IX under the name of Our Lady of Mercy. By the grace of God and under the protection of His Virgin Mother, the Order spread rapidly. Its growth was increased as the charity and piety of its members was observed; they very often followed Our Lady’s directive to give themselves up to voluntary slavery when necessary, to aid the good work. It was to return thanks to God and the Blessed Virgin that a feast day was instituted and observed on September 24, first in the Order, then everywhere in Spain and France. It was finally extended to the entire Church by Pope Innocent XII. Pope Leo XIII encouraged the devotion by making this feast proper to all the dioceses of England, with a focus on how Our Lady ransoms us from the slavery of our sins, and brings us the grace of conversion.

9/23 Feast Day of St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Today is the Feast Day of St. Pio of Pietrelcina

More Information on the Web can be viewed here or here:

St. Pio of Pietrelcina
and the Servant of God,
Luisa Piccarreta the Little Daughter of the Divine Will

Blessed Padre Pio, Luisa Piccarreta and Rosaria Bucci
( from “A Collection of Memories of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta
by Fr. Bucci”)

Luisa Piccarreta and Blessed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina knew one another for some time without ever having met, for Luisa was always confined to the bed where she sat, while Padre Pio was enclosed in the friary of the Capuchin Fathers of San Giovanni Rotondo.
One question naturally arises, how did they come to know one another? This is difficult to discover, yet one thing is certain, that the two did know and esteem one another.
My aunt recounts how Luisa would speak with respect and veneration of the blessed father, describing him as a “true man of God”, who still had great suffering to face for the good of souls.
In about 1930, a well-known figure arrived at Luisa’s house, sent personally by Padre Pio. He was Federico Abresch, a convert of Padre Pio. Federico spoke at length with Luisa. What they said we are not given to know; but one thing is certain. Federico Abresch became an apostle of the Divine Will and regularly visited Luisa, with whom he always had long conversations.
When his little son received his first communion from Padre Pio’s hands, he was also immediately taken to see Luisa who, according to the story, foretold that he would become a priest.
The small boy of that time is now a priest and works at the Congregation for Bishops in Rome; he is known by the name of Mgr. Pio Abresch.
When Luisa was condemned by the Holy Office and her works put on the Index, Padre Pio sent her this message though Federico Abresch: “Dear Luisa, saints serve for the good of souls, but their suffering knows no bounds”. At that time Padre Pio was also in very great difficulties.
Blessed Padre Pio sent many people to Luisa Piccarreta and would say to the people of Corato who went to San Giovanni Rotondo: “What have you come here for? You have Luisa, go to her”.
Padre Pio recommended to certain of his faithful (including Federico Abresch) that they open a spirituality center at San Giovanni Rotondo, inspired by the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.
Miss Adriana Pallotti (a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio) is currently an heir to Padre Pio’s wishes. She has opened a House of the Divine Will at San Giovanni Rotondo, keeping alive the torch lit by Padre Pio with Federico Abresch. Miss Adriana Pallotti says that it was Blessed Padre Pio who encouraged her to spread Luisa Piccarreta’s spirituality in San Giovanni Rotondo and to help disseminate the Divine Will throughout the world, as Padre Pio desired.
Aunt Rosaria went regularly to San Giovanni Rotondo, especially after Luisa’s death. Padre Pio knew her very well, and when Luisa was still alive he would ask Aunt Rosaria when he saw her: “Rosa’, how is Luisa?”.
Aunt Rosaria would answer him: “She is well!”.
After Luisa’s death, Aunt Rosaria increased her visits to San Giovanni Rotondo, in order to receive enlightenment and advice from Padre Pio.
Aunt Rosaria was the one lamp that stayed alight to resolve Luisa Piccarreta’s case regarding the sentence of the Holy Office, visiting various ecclesiastical figures and, in addition, confronting the Congregation of the Holy Office. Once she managed – it is not known how – to enter the office of the Cardinal Prefect, Ottaviani, who heard her kindly and promised to take up the case.
Indeed, a few days later, Aunt Rosaria was summoned by Archbishop Addazi of Trani, who said to her: “Miss Rosaria, I do not know whether to reprimand you or to admire you for your courage. You have faced the guard dog of the Church, the great defender of the faith, without being bitten”.
The conclusion was that permission was obtained to move Luisa’s body from the cemetery to the Church of Santa Maria Greca.
Luisa said to my aunt: “You will be my witness” and one day Padre Pio told her point-blank in his Benevento dialect: “Rosa’, va nanz, va nanz ca Luisa iè gran e u munn sarà chin di Luisa” (Rosaria, go ahead, go ahead for Luisa is great and the world will be full of Luisa). My aunt often recounted this episode, but things were not going well: everything indicated that Luisa would soon be forgotten.
After the venerated Padre Pio’s death, my aunt said one day: “Padre Pio prophesied that Luisa would be known throughout the world”. And she repeated the phrase Padre Pio had said in his dialect.
I answered that there would be no easy solution to the case of Luisa Piccarreta Indeed nothing further was said of it in Corato either, and Padre Pio’s words could have been considered merely a comforting remark. But Aunt Rosaria retorted: “No! During my confession Padre Pio told me that Luisa is not a human factor, she is a work of God and he himself will make her emerge. The world will be astounded at her greatness; not many years will pass before this happens. The new millennium will see Luisa’s light”.
I was silent at this assertion and my aunt asked me: “But do you believe in Luisa?”.
I answered her that I did.
Then she said to me: “Come to my house in a few days’ time, because I have something very important to tell you”.
It was during the 70s and Padre Pio had been dead for a several
years.

Aunt Rosaria’s secret

In 1975, on 2 February to be exact – I remember it was a
very chilly day – my aunt summoned me to her house. She was very old and was
beginning to have problems with her sight, due to diabetes. My nephew and niece,
Vincenzo and Sara, went to her house to keep her company.

That day, I found her sitting at the window as she recited the
Rosary.

I sat down next to her, and having greeted her, asked her what
it was she wanted to tell me that was so important.

She looked at me and said: “What I am going to tell you now
is of the utmost importance. Try to use it well and I urge you to meditate on
the miracles of the Lord who gave us Luisa, a precious creature in God’s eyes
and an instrument of his mercy. You would find it hard to discover such a
precious, great soul. Luisa goes beyond herself, and you can only contemplate
her fully in God’s mystery. Mary was the One who brought redemption into the
world with her
Fiat, which is why the Lord enriched her in such a
wonderful way that she became a creature who was raised to the dignity of Mother
of God. Mary is the Mother of God, and no other creature will ever equal
her in greatness and power; after God it is she alone who expresses the Lord’s
marvels to the world. After Our Lady comes Luisa, who brings the world the third
Fiat, the Fiat of Sanctification“.

She said this quietly, marking her words well, convinced of
what she was asserting. I was overwhelmed by these assertions.

That is why Luisa was always nailed to her bed and every
day offered to the Divine Majesty as a victim of expiation to God’s Most Holy
Will
“, she continued. “God was pleased with this creature and so
jealously guarded her that he removed her from human beings, entrusting her only
to his Church, so that she could preserve her and humanly forge her with
infinite penances and misunderstandings. My Luisa knew no human consolations but
only divine ones; her body was continually suspended between heaven and earth,
and her earthly life was a continuous contradiction in comparison with normal
human lives. Even in her body, she had to belong entirely to God
“.

She then confided to me: “One day the Lord said to Luisa:
‘all those who have seen and known you will be saved
’”.

Dear Peppino, this is an extraordinary gift of God and it
has remained shrouded in silence because Luisa did not want knowledge of it
broadcast, or she would have become the object of curiosity or veneration which,
she said, she did not deserve. Except that one day her confessor told me that I
could speak of it and spread it with discretion. Now I have told you, in
the hope that you may be able to make good use of it
“.

That day I was left enchanted by the language used by Aunt
Rosaria, who expressed theological concepts perfectly, and even in a poetic
vein.

By accident, the notes I had made were lost and I have limited
myself to writing what I remember.

Her death, almost unexpected, gave me no time to ask her
further questions, which would have provided a clear explanation of what she had
told me.

Aunt Rosaria died in 1978.

9/23 St. Pio of Pietrelcina died on this day in 1968

More Information on St. Pio of Pietrelcina
can be found on this Site’s September 23, 2011 Post,
as well as on the Web at:
http://www.padrepiodevotions.org/
http://www.ewtn.com/padrepio/index.htm

St. Pio of Pietrelcina
and the Servant of God,
Luisa Piccarreta the Little Daughter of the Divine Will

Book of Heaven
The Call of the Creature to the Order, the Place and the Purpose
for which He was Created by God
Volume 6 – September 28, 1904

Repressing oneself is worth more than acquiring a kingdom

The Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta the Little Daughter of the Divine Will:

This morning, since my most sweet Jesus was not coming, I went through a very hard time. I did nothing but repress and force myself, and I said to myself: “What am I still here for? What is the value for me of this repressing myself continuously?” While I was thinking of this, He came like a flash and said to me: “Repressing oneself is worth more than acquiring a kingdom.” And He disappeared.

9/23 Tomorrow is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Ransom (Our Lady of Mercy)

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of

Our Lady of Ransom
(also known as Our Lady of Mercy)

Please check out the following web sites here and here
for more information on today’s Feast 

***

Volume 16 – January 14, 1923

The Divine Will was everything for man, and with It he needed nothing. Before the scourging, Jesus wanted to be stripped, in order to give back to the creature her royal garments.

The Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta the Little Daughter of the Divine Will:

I was contemplating the mystery of the Scourging, compassionating my sweet Jesus in the moment when He saw Himself so confused in the midst of enemies – stripped of His garment, under a storm of blows. And my adorable Jesus, coming out from my interior in the state in which He found Himself when He was scourged, told me: “My daughter, do you want to know the reason for which I was stripped when I was scourged? In every mystery of My Passion, first I occupied Myself with adjusting the fracture between the human will and the Divine, and then with the offenses which this fracture produced.

“When man in Eden broke the bonds of the union between the Supreme Will and his will, he stripped himself of the royal garments of My Will, and clothed himself with the miserable rags of his will – weak, inconstant, incapable of doing any good. My Will was a sweet enchantment for him, which kept him absorbed within a most pure light, which made him know nothing but His God, from Whom he came, and which gave him nothing else but immeasurable happiness. And he was so absorbed by all that his God gave him, that he gave no thought to himself. Oh, how happy man was, and how the Divinity delighted in giving him so many particles of His being for as many as the creature can contain, in order to render him similar to Himself. So, as soon as he (Adam) broke the union of Our Will with his, he lost the royal garment; he lost enchantment, light, happiness. He looked at himself without the light of My Will, and in looking at himself without the enchantment which kept him absorbed, he knew himself and felt ashamed. He was afraid of God, to the extent that nature itself felt its sad effects: he was cold, felt his nakedness, and felt the strong need to cover himself. And just as Our Will kept him in the harbor of immense happinesses, so did his will put him in the harbor of miseries.
Our Will was everything for man, and in It he found everything. It was fair that, having been delivered by Us and living in Our Will as Our tender child, he would live of It. And this Will was to make up for all that he needed. Therefore, when he wanted to live of his will, he needed everything because the human will does not have the power to make up for all needs, nor does it contain the source of good within itself. So, he was forced to earn with hardship the necessary things of life.

See, then, what it means not to be united with My Will! Oh, if all knew It, how they would have one single yearning: that my Will come to reign upon earth!

Therefore, had Adam not withdrawn from the Divine Will, also his nature would have had no need of clothing; he would not have felt the shame of his nakedness, nor would he have been subject to suffer cold, heat, hunger, weakness. But these natural things were almost nothing; they were, rather, symbols of the great good which his soul had lost.

So, My daughter (Luisa), before being tied to the column to be scourged, I (Jesus) wanted to be stripped in order to suffer and repair the nakedness of man, when he stripped himself of the royal garment of My Will. I felt such confusion and pain within me in seeing Myself stripped in the midst of enemies who were making fun of Me, that I cried over the nakedness of man and I offered my nakedness to My Celestial Father, so that man might be clothed once again with the royal garment of My Will. And as ransom, so that it would not be denied to Me, I offered My Blood, My flesh torn to shreds, and I let Myself be stripped not only of my garment, but also of My flesh, to be able to pay the price and satisfy for the crime of nakedness of man. I poured so much Blood in this mystery that in no other did I pour so much of it – so much as to be enough to cover him with a second garment, a garment of Blood; to cover him again and therefore warm him and wash him, to dispose him to receive the royal garment of My Will.”

On hearing this, surprised I said: “My beloved Jesus, how can it be possible that, because he withdrew from Your Will, man felt the need to clothe himself, was ashamed, was afraid…? And then, You always did the Will of the Celestial Father, You were One with Him, and your Mama never knew her Will – yet, You felt the needed of clothing, of food, and You suffered cold and heat…”

And Jesus added: “Yet, My daughter, it is exactly so. If man felt ashamed of his nakedness and was subject to many natural miseries, it was exactly because he lost the sweet enchantment of My Will; and even though the evil was done by his soul, not by his body, the body, however, was an indirect accomplice in the bad will of man. His nature remained as though profaned by the bad will of man; therefore both one and the other had to feel the pain of the evil done. As far as Myself, indeed I always did the Supreme Will, but I did not come to find an innocent man, a man before sin; rather, I came to find a man sinner and with all his miseries. And so I had to join him, taking upon Myself all the evils of man, and subjecting Myself to all the necessities of life, as if I were one of them. However, in Me there was this prodigy: if I wanted, I would need nothing, either clothing, food or other things. But I did not want to use it out of love for man. I wanted to sacrifice Myself in everything, even in the most innocent things created by Me, in order to prove him My ardent love. Even more, this served to beseech My Divine Father, so that, out of regard for Me and for My will completely sacrificed to Him, He would give back to man the noble royal garment of Our Will.”

9/21-9/22 at Sundown starts the Feast of Rosh Hashanah, or Feast of Trumpets

P_Feast of Trumpets

The Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah
1/13/29 – Vol. 25

I was continuing my round in the acts of the Divine Fiat, and as I reached the point in which I would accompany the Prophets when the Divine Volition manifested Itself to them—the how and the when of the coming of the future Redeemer—and the Prophets longed for Him with tears, prayers and penances, making everything they did my own, because all this was the fruits of the Eternal Divine Fiat, I offered it in order to impetrate Its Kingdom upon earth.

But while I was doing this, my sweet Jesus, moving in my interior, told me: “My daughter, when a good is universal and must and can bring good to all, it is necessary that entire peoples—and if not everyone, a great part—know the good that they must receive, and with prayers, sighs, desires and works, they impetrate a good so great, in such a way that first the good they want is conceived in their minds, sighs, desires, works, and even in their hearts, and then is the good that they longed for given to them in reality. When a good that must be received is universal, it takes the strength of a people to impetrate it; on the other hand, when it is individual or local, one can be enough to obtain the intent.

“Therefore, before coming upon earth and being conceived in the womb of the Sovereign Queen of Heaven, I can say that I was conceived in the minds of the Prophets, and I confirmed and gave value to this sort of conception in them through My manifestations of the when and the how I was to come upon earth in order to redeem mankind. And the Prophets, faithful executors of My manifestations, acted as trumpeters, manifesting to the peoples, with their words, what I had manifested about My coming upon earth; and conceiving Me in their words, they made the news that the Word wanted to come upon earth fly from mouth to mouth. And by this, not only was I conceived in the word of the Prophets, but I remained conceived also in the word of the people, in such a way that all talked about it, and prayed, and longed for the future Redeemer.

 

9/21 Feast Day of St. Matthew

“OUR FATHER … YOUR KINGDOM COME,
YOUR WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.”
Matthew 6:10 

7 ‘In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard.
8 Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 So you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
13 And do not put us to the test, but save us from the Evil One.

St. Matthew

APOSTLE

Feast: September 21

Information:

Feast Day: September 21
Died: January 24, near Hierapolis or Ethiopia
Patron of: accountants, bankers, bookkeepers, customs officers, financial officers, guards, money managers, security forces, security guards, stock brokers, tax collectors
Apostle and evangelist. The name Matthew is derived from the Hebrew Mattija, being shortened to Mattai in post-Biblical Hebrew. In Greek it is sometimes spelled Maththaios, B D, and sometimes Matthaios, CEKL, but grammarians do not agree as to which of the two spellings is the original. Matthew is spoken of five times in the New Testament; first in Matt., ix, 9, when called by Jesus to follow Him, and then four times in the list of the Apostles, where he is mentioned in the seventh (Luke, vi, 15, and Mark, iii, 18), and again in the eighth place (Matt., x, 3, and Acts, i, 13). The man designated in Matt., ix, 9, as “sitting in the custom house”, and “named Matthew” is the same as Levi, recorded in Mark, ii, 14, and Luke, v, 27, as “sitting at the receipt of custom”. The account in the three Synoptics is identical, the vocation of Matthew-Levi being alluded to in the same terms. Hence Levi was the original name of the man who was subsequently called Matthew; the Maththaios legomenos of Matt., ix, 9, would indicate this. The fact of one man having two names is of frequent occurrence among the Jews. It is true that the same person usually bears a Hebrew name such as “Shaoul” and a Greek name, Paulos. However, we have also examples of individuals with two Hebrew names as, for instance, Joseph-Caiaphas, Simon-Cephas, etc. It is probable that Mattija, “gift of Iaveh”, was the name conferred upon the tax-gatherer by Jesus Christ when He called him to the Apostolate, and by it he was thenceforth known among his Christian brethren, Levi being his original name. Matthew, the son of Alpheus (Mark, ii, 14) was a Galilean, although Eusebius informs us that he was a Syrian. As tax-gatherer at Capharnaum, he collected custom duties for Herod Antipas, and, although a Jew, was despised by the Pharisees, who hated all publicans. When summoned by Jesus, Matthew arose and followed Him and tendered Him a feast in his house, where tax-gatherers and sinners sat at table with Christ and His disciples. This drew forth a protest from the Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked in these consoling words: “I came not to call the just, but sinners”. No further allusion is made to Matthew in the Gospels, except in the list of the Apostles. As a disciple and an Apostle he thenceforth followed Christ, accompanying Him up to the time of His Passion and, in Galilee, was one of the witnesses of His Resurrection. He was also amongst the Apostles who were present at the Ascension, and afterwards withdrew to an upper chamber, in Jerusalem, praying in union with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren (Acts, i, 10 and 14).
Of Matthew’s subsequent career we have only inaccurate or legendary data. St. Irenæus tells us that Matthew preached the Gospel among the Hebrews, St. Clement of Alexandria claiming that he did this for fifteen years, and Eusebius maintains that, before going into other countries, he gave them his Gospel in the mother tongue. Ancient writers are not as one as to the countries evangelized by Matthew, but almost all mention Ethiopia to the south of the Caspian Sea (not Ethiopia in Africa), and some Persia and the kingdom of the Parthians, Macedonia, and Syria. According to Heracleon, who is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Matthew did not die a martyr, but this opinion conflicts with all other ancient testimony. Let us add, however, that the account of his martyrdom in the apocryphal Greek writings entitled “Martyrium S. Matthæi in Ponto” and published by Bonnet, “Acta apostolorum apocrypha” (Leipzig, 1898), is absolutely devoid of historic value. Lipsius holds that this “Martyrium S. Matthæi”, which contains traces of Gnosticism, must have been published in the third century. There is a disagreement as to the place of St. Matthew’s martyrdom and the kind of torture inflicted on him, therefore it is not known whether he was burned, stoned, or beheaded. The Roman Martyrology simply says: “S. Matthæi, qui in Æthiopia prædicans martyrium passus est”. Various writings that are now considered apocryphal, have been attributed to St. Matthew. In the “Evangelia apocrypha” (Leipzig, 1876), Tischendorf reproduced a Latin document entitled: “De Ortu beatæ Mariæ et infantia Salvatoris”, supposedly written in Hebrew by St. Matthew the Evangelist, and translated into Latin by Jerome, the priest. It is an abridged adaptation of the “Protoevangelium” of St. James, which was a Greek apocryphal of the second century. This pseudo-Matthew dates from the middle or the end of the sixth century. The Latin Church celebrates the feast of St. Matthew on 21 September, and the Greek Church on 16 November. St. Matthew is represented under the symbol of a winged man, carrying in his hand a lance as a characteristic emblem.