Saint Matthias the Apostle
St. Matthias the Apostle (1st c.) followed Jesus during his entire earthly ministry and was one of his 72 disciples. Matthias was chosen by the 11 Apostles to replace Judas Iscariot after his betrayal of Christ and subsequent suicide. After Christ's Ascension into heaven, St. Matthias devoted himself to preaching Christianity among the pagans, some of them barbarians and cannibals, all over Judea, Cappadocia, and Ethiopia for over 30 years. Many miracles are ascribed to him as the pagans sought to kill him: that he was unharmed after being forced to drink poison, that he once hid by becoming invisible, and that the earth opened up and swallowed his attackers. St. Matthias also preached the need for mortification of the flesh as an aid to growth in holiness. Eventually, at God's appointed time, he was martyred for the cause of Christ, though there are conflicting traditions as to exactly where and how. St. Matthias is the patron saint of carpenters, tailors, and reformed alcoholics. His feast day is May 14th.
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