Saint Matthias

Apôtre Matthias

Saint Matthias
Saint Matthias

Matthias (also known as Saint Matthias in the Catholic church) was chosen by the remaining eleven disciples to replace the betrayer, Judas Iscariot before Jesus’ resurrection. The scriptural recommendation was for twelve disciples and so Apôtre Pierre declared that they must choose another disciple to take the place of Judas Iscariote.

Matthias was chosen as the twelfth Apostle since he was present with Jesus Christ during his time on Earth as well as through his crucifixion. While two men were chosen to take the twelfth place in the Apostles lots were drawn and Matthias was selected as the twelfth and final apostle.

Qui était saint Matthias ?

According to the biblical “Acts of Apostles 1:21; Acts of Apostles 1:22; Acts of Apostles 1:23; Acts of Apostles 1:24; Acts of Apostles 1:25; Acts of Apostles 1:26,” Saint Matthias was a disciple chosen by the apostles as a replacement for Judas Iscariot after the latter’s betrayal of Jesus Christ. It was important that the community endured even after the crucifixion to spread the Christian faith all around the world, and it was crucial that the number of apostles remained 12, as 12 was the number of tribes of Israel and a twelfth apostle was required for the coming of the new Israel.

Apostel Mattias met speer S. Mathias (titel op object) Christus en de apostelen
Apostel Mattias met speer S. Mathias (titel op object) Christus en de apostelen

Jésus lui-même a choisi les 12 apôtres originaux, et le reste des apôtres a choisi Saint Matthias après l'Ascension. Ils ont voté par tirage au sort et sélectionné Matthias.

There is no further information about him in the New Testament. It is believed that Matthias placed his faith in Jesus Christ above everything else and was present with the other apostles at Pentecost. He embraced all the teachings of Jesus and sacrificed his life for the service of the Lord, even after being persecuted by many.

He also worked many miracles in the name of the Lord Jesus, which converted many to the Christian faith. He is a patron of carpenters, tailors, and those who are affected by smallpox.

Mattathias and the Apostate
Mattathias and the Apostate

Enfance et petite enfance

Saint Matthias was born in the 1st century AD, at Judaea. In his early youth, he studied the Law of God under Saint Simeon. According to the acts, it is said that Matthias had accompanied the Lord from the time of his baptism and was among the 72 disciples paired off and dispatched by Jesus.

L'évangile de Matthias

L'Évangile de Matthias est un texte perdu qui prétend avoir été écrit par Matthias. L'église primitive avait des opinions mitigées sur son authenticité, et nous ne la connaissons que par les écrits des autres.

Clement of Alexandria quotes it while describing a heretical sect of Christianity known as the Nicolaitanes—whose teachings John the Revelator claims Jesus hated (Revelation 2:6)—telling us it says,

« Nous devons combattre notre chair, ne lui accorder aucune valeur et ne lui concéder rien qui puisse la flatter, mais plutôt accroître la croissance de notre âme par la foi et la connaissance ».

Clement of Alexandria

Eusèbe a affirmé qu'il avait également été écrit par des hérétiques. Mais sans le texte lui-même, il est impossible de dire quelle valeur il a pu avoir.

Saint Matthias
Saint Matthias

Missionary

As one of les Douze, Matthias was an apostle, which meant he was charged with preaching the gospel and helping it spread throughout the known world. The word we translate as an apostle (Apostolos) literally means “one who is sent,” and all of the apostles were sent somewhere. But where exactly Matthias went depends on which tradition you follow.

Ministry

Selon la tradition, on pense qu'après la descente du Saint-Esprit, Matthias a exercé son ministère et prêché l'Évangile à Jérusalem et en Judée avec les autres apôtres.

De Jérusalem, il se rendit à l'Antioche syrienne et était présent dans la ville de Titanium et de Sinope. Pendant son séjour ici, Saint Matthias a été emprisonné mais a été miraculeusement libéré parSaint André le Premier Appelé. Après cela, il se rendit dans la ville d'Amasea, qui se trouvait au bord de la mer Caspienne.

He accompanied Apostle Andrew during a three-year journey and was with him at Edessa and Sebaste. According to tradition, he preached at Pontine Ethiopia (presently known as Western Georgia) and Macedonia. He was constantly persecuted by the people there but kept preaching the Gospel to them.

St Matthias Church Richmond Greater London
St Matthias Church Richmond Greater London

Dans une version de l'histoire, les Éthiopiens Pontins étaient considérés comme des païens et des barbares, et ils forçaient le saint à boire du poison. Mais il est resté indemne parce qu'il avait la protection du Seigneur, et il a même guéri d'autres prisonniers aveuglés par le poison.

Saint Matthias a quitté la prison, et cela a rendu furieux les païens qui ont continué à le chercher en vain. Ils avaient l'intention de tuer le saint, et selon l'histoire, la terre s'est ouverte et les a engloutis.

After this, he returned to Judaea and continued enlightening his countrymen about Christ’s teachings. He also told them how he was able to perform miracles in the name of the Lord Jesus and motivated many to have faith in Christ.

Cela a rendu furieux le grand prêtre juif Ananias, qui haïssait le Christ. Il avait déjà ordonné l'exécution de l'apôtre Jacques dans le passé et avait décidé d'arrêter Matthias. Le saint a été amené pour jugement devant le Sanhédrin à Jérusalem.

Au cours de l'audience, le grand prêtre Ananias a calomnié le Seigneur avec un discours blasphématoire. Mais Matthias, utilisant les prophéties de l'Ancien Testament, a expliqué que Jésus-Christ est « le vrai Dieu, le Messie promis, le Fils de Dieu, consubstantiel et coéternel avec Dieu le Père ».

Mathias (Winterhalder) - St. Margarethen, Waldkirch
Mathias (Winterhalder) - St. Margarethen, Waldkirch

Réflexion

Quelle était la sainteté de Matthias ? De toute évidence, il était apte à l'apostolat par l'expérience d'être avec Jésus depuis son baptême jusqu'à son ascension. Il doit aussi avoir été apte personnellement, ou il n'aurait pas été nommé pour une si grande responsabilité.

Ne devons-nous pas nous rappeler que la sainteté fondamentale de Matthias était de recevoir avec joie la relation avec le Père que lui offrait Jésus et complétée par l'Esprit Saint ?

Si les apôtres sont les fondements de notre foi par leur témoignage, ils doivent aussi être des rappels, ne serait-ce qu'implicitement, que la sainteté est entièrement une affaire de don de Dieu, et elle est offerte à tous, dans les circonstances quotidiennes de la vie. Nous recevons, et même pour cela Dieu fournit la puissance de la liberté.

Mort et héritage

Selon Nicéphore, saint Matthias étaitlapidé à morten Éthiopie (Géorgie actuelle). Un copte existant « Actes d'Andrew et Matthias », valide cette histoire. Un marqueur placé sur les ruines de la forteresse romaine de Gonia prétend que le saint est enterré sur ce site.

The Synopsis of Dorotheus also talks about a similar story. It claims that Matthias was preaching the Gospel in the sea harbor of Hyssus and at the mouth of the river Phasis. He died at Sebastopolis and was buried near the Temple of the Sun.

Stadtpfarrkirche RO OÖ Hochaltar - Apostel Matthias 1710
Stadtpfarrkirche RO OÖ Hochaltar - Apostel Matthias 1710

Dans une autre tradition, Saint Matthias a été lapidé par les habitants de Jérusalem après avoir enragé Ananias. Après sa mort, il a été décapité par les Juifs pour dissimuler leur crime. Ses tueurs l'ont alors qualifié d'ennemi de César. Selon Hippolyte de Rome, le saint mourut de vieillesse à Jérusalem.

It is said that Empress Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine I, brought the saint’s remains to Italy. Part of these relics was placed in the Abbey of Santa Giustina and the remaining in the Abbey of St. Matthias.

The Latin Church celebrates the feast of Saint Matthias on the 14th of May, and the Greek Church celebrates it on the 9th of August.

Clé à emporter

Matthias, whose name means “gift of God”, was the disciple chosen to replace Judas as one of the twelve Apostles. The Acts of the Apostles state that he was also one of the 72 disciples that the Lord Jesus sent out to preach the good news. Matthias was with the Lord since His Baptism, and was “a witness to Christ’s Resurrection,” according to Saint Pierre in Acts. He remained with Jesus until His Ascension.

Selon diverses traditions, Matthias a prêché en Cappadoce, à Jérusalem, sur les rives de la mer Caspienne (dans la Turquie d'aujourd'hui) et en Éthiopie. On dit qu'il est mort par crucifixion à Colchide ou par lapidation à Jérusalem.

Il existe des preuves citées dans certains des premiers pères de l'Église qu'il y avait un évangile selon Matthias en circulation, mais il a depuis été perdu et a été déclaré apocryphe par le pape Gélase.

He is invoked for assistance against alcoholism, and support from recovered alcoholics.

Saint Matthias, ca. 1317–19, Workshop of Simone Martini Italian
Saint Matthiasca. 1317–19
Workshop of Simone Martini Italian

Caractéristiques

The remaining eleven disciples chose characteristics of Saint Matthias to replace the betrayer, Judas Iscariot, before Jesus’ resurrection. According to the characteristics of the 12 apostles, it was believed that these twelve witnesses would represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Thus, these followers of Christ gathered together to cast lots between two candidates: Joseph called Barsabas (Justus), and Matthias.

Missionary

As one of the Twelve, Matthias was an apostle, which meant he was charged with prêcher l'évangile and helping it spread throughout the known world. The word we translate as Apostle (Apostolos) means “one who is sent,” and all of the apostles were sent somewhere. But where exactly Matthias went depends on which tradition you follow.

Nikephoros Kallistos Xanthopoulos was a fourteenth-century historian who built on the work of his predecessors and had access to important texts that no longer exist. He claimed Matthias preached in Judea, then Aethiopia (modern-day Georgia).

St. Matthias, from Christ, the Apostles and St. Paul with the Creed
St. Matthias, from Christ, the Apostles and St. Paul with the Creed

One of the Seventy

In the Gospel of Luke, we learn that Jesus appointed 70 disciples (or depending on the manuscript, 72) to spread the gospel in pairs of two; these believers were sent out to test the hospitality of the towns Jesus was heading to and gauge their receptiveness to the gospel.

They were given the authority to heal the sick and cast out demons (Luke 10:9Luke 10:17), and they preached the gospel.

Interestingly, Luke is the only gospel writer to mention them, and he doesn’t tell us their names (that’d be about as thrilling to read as Matthew’s genealogy).

While that saves us from slogging through seventy (or seventy-two) names of people we’d likely never read about again, it also, unfortunately, prevents us from learning about these important early followers of Jesus. They were probably leaders in the first-century church.

Witness the Resurrection

The first qualification is laid out in verse 22:

‘He must become a witness with us of His resurrection.’

This is interesting phrasing as he would have witnessed the resurrection having been with Jesus from baptism to ascension.

I think the emphasis here is that he must be prepared to become united with them in their witness. Given that the atmosphere of the church was one of unity and prayer, the new person needed to commit to this and become a witness ‘with us.’ There was no space here for a different plan.

This was a group of people that would be witnessing the resurrection amidst opposition. The church would be staking its reputation on the resurrection of Jesus. This crucial doctrine was foundational teaching, and the new member of the Twelve needed to be prepared to witness this.

Purity of Heart

A shortlist of two men is drawn up. Both, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias are ideal candidates. The final decision is committed to God in prayer before lots are drawn. God is addressed as the One ‘who knows the hearts of all men’ or the ‘heart-knower, and He is asked to choose the man He wants.

Ultimately, this is both the most important characteristic of the new Apostle and the one most hidden from us. Who can know the real motives of a man’s heart? Only God. He alone knows our hidden and deep motives. The fact that Matthias is selected speaks volumes of his character.

So Matthias, a man of exemplary character and a persevering witness of the resurrection, is selected by lot and is ‘added to the eleven apostles. Exciting times are ahead for all the apostles as the church is birthed at Pentecost and established throughout the known world.

The Election of Saint Matthias
"One day Peter stood up to speak to the brothers – there were about a hundred and twenty persons in the congregation: ‘Brothers, the passage of scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, foretells the fate of Judas, who offered himself as a guide to the men who arrested Jesus – after having been one of our number and actually sharing this ministry of ours. Now in the Book of Psalms it says: Let someone else take his office. ‘We must therefore choose someone who has been with us the whole time that the Lord Jesus was travelling round with us, someone who was with us right from the time when John was baptising until the day when he was taken up from us – and he can act with us as a witness to his resurrection.’ Having nominated two candidates, Joseph known as Barsabbas, whose surname was Justus, and Matthias, they prayed, ‘Lord, you can read everyone’s heart; show us therefore which of these two you have chosen to take over this ministry and apostolate, which Judas abandoned to go to his proper place.’ They then drew lots for them, and as the lot fell to Matthias, he was listed as one of the twelve apostles." – Actes 1:15-17,20-26, which is today's First Reading for the feast of St Matthias. This stained glass window is from St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow.

Perseverance

The last qualification is that he must be one of ‘the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us – beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us’. He must have been present throughout Jesus’ ministry.

This was a new movement and the people who were to ensure that the church got off the ground needed to be people who had seen the whole story unfold. They needed to have been part of what was going on when Jesus was conducting His earthly ministry. They needed to be people who could answer the cynics who questioned who Jesus was.

They needed to be people who could accurately report what Jesus had taught so that they could combat any dubious perversions of His teaching. They needed to be people who Jesus had commissioned to go out preaching the message of the kingdom and healing the sick.

This was an issue of credibility and was important since the new church was being established in an atmosphere of hostility. The individual who was chosen therefore needed to have proven that they had perseverance and not left Jesus when the teaching became difficult or when opposition from the authorities had come.

Caractéristiques récapitulatives

Before 120 followers of Christ, Peter gave an account of the life, ministry, and death of Judas Iscariote. Because of the loss of Judas, a replacement was to fill the gap within the original twelve disciples. It was necessary to select one who had known them since the Lord’s baptism by John to the resurrection of the Son of Man.

“And they drew lots for them, and the lots fell to Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles”

Actes 1:26

Many believe that Barsabbas and Matthias were among the seventy disciples who were sent out to proclaim the gospel (Luke 10:1). However, neither one has been mentioned again in Scripture, nor is there any account for their later ministries.

Read more about Saint Matthias in the Bible.

Resources Characteristics of Saint Matthias

https://www.exploringlifesmysteries.com/twelve-disciples/#thaddeus
https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/apostles.cfm
https://overviewbible.com/matthias-the-apostle/

Conclusion Saint Matthias

The Bible tells us almost nothing about Matthias. But what we do know is that he’d been following Jesus from the beginning despite not receiving a personal invitation, like the membres originaux des Douze. Et que Matthias soit un apôtre soit le dessein de Dieu ou celui de Pierre, il est devenu un leader à part entière dans l'église du premier siècle et a joué un rôle important dans la diffusion de l'évangile dans le monde entier.

Ressources

https://overviewbible.com/matthias-the-apostle/
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/saint-matthias-37245.php
https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-matthias

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