A Garner of Saints – Saint Matthew

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Matthew the Evangelist; Saint-Julien Le Mans Couesmes-en-Froulay, Couesmes-town Vaucé, France; date and artist unknown; photographed on 7 May 2015 by GO69; swiped from Wikipedia CommonsArticle

Of the tribe of Levi; after the Ascension he preached in Ethiopia, where he encountered two renowned sorcerers, and exposed their practices. He lodged with the eunuch converted by Philip and explained to him how the Holy Spirit caused him to understand all languages. And the enchanters sent two enormous dragons against him, but as soon as they saw the apostle they fell asleep at his feet. Then Matthew confronted the sorcerers and proposed that they should wake the dragons; and many people being gathered together he preached to them upon the glories of paradise. As he was speaking there arose a great tumult, caused by the people weeping for the king’s son who had died. Then Matthew was sent for, and after he had prayed the young man arose. King Egyptus, upon this, commanded that he should be worshipped as a god, but when the people came with garlands the apostle told them that he was no more than the servant of the true God. At his command they built a great church, completing it in thirty days, and then the king, together with his wife and all the people, were baptized. The apostle dedicated to God the king’s daughter Ephigenia, and set her at the head of a community of more than two hundred virgins. After this Hyracus succeeded to the throne, and he desired this virgin in marriage. The apostle directed him to come to the church and hear the nature of good and holy marriages. Accordingly, he came in great pomp, but when Matthew declared that Ephigenia was espoused already to the king of Heaven and could marry no other, the king became furious. After the discourse the king sent an assassin to stab Matthew in the back as he stood at the altar, and he fell there. Then the people revolted and would have killed the king, being restrained with great difliculty. And the king being unable to move Ephigenia, set fire to her house, intending to burn her with the other virgins. But Matthew appeared and turned away the fire which attacked the palace so that it was speedily in ashes, none escaping except the king himself and his eldest son. The king was attacked by leprosy and killed himself in his despair, while the son became possessed by devils and went to the apostle’s tomb to confess his father’s sins. The king’s brother reigned in his stead and established Christianity in those parts founding many churches. 21st September.

Attributes

  • Angel or cherub; sometimes carries a purse and sometimes an axe.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Matthew”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 April 2017. Web. 23 May 2017. <>