Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 24 February

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Matthias the Apostle; 19th century by F X Zettler, Munich, Germany; parish church of Saint Alban, Gutenzell-Hürbel, Biberach, Germany; photographed in January 2015 by Andreas Praefcke; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsSaint Matthias, Apostle

Judas had added to the crimes of treason and Deicide the irreparable sin of despair arid suicide and is a true and sad type of those souls who, favored with great graces, to which they are unfaithful, become disgusted and ashamed at the sight of their sins and give way to discouragement. This can in no way repair the past; it only closes the only two, means of recovery for the future – a fresh start of the soul and the mercy of God, received in humble confidence. Matthias, one of the seventy-two disciples, was elected by the Apostles to fill the place of Judas. Saint Denis the Areopagite says that a ray of light descending from Heaven on his head decided their choice. After preaching for thirty-three years among the Jews and pagans, from the former of whom he suffered more than from the latter, he died in Ethiopia in the year 63. It is said that he was first stoned and then beheaded; and he is represented with a hatchet in his hands. In the Gospel for this feast, Jesus shows us His predilection for the poor and lowly and He thanks His Heavenly Father for having revealed to them secrets which were hidden from the proud, enamored of their false wisdom – mystery of sternness and of kindness which is ever being renewed and which makes even the just tremble with fear and yet fills them with gratitude.

Prayer

Pity unfaithful religious like that Friar Preacher of early times, learned, a great orator and thought much of by the great ones of the world, who, in order to enrich his brother, apostatized, and being struck a year after with a terrible malady, died, covered with wounds and vermin (Lives of the Brethren, O.P.). O my God, rather death than infidelity to my vocation.

Practice

Do not pretend to be wiser than you are. Simplicity and humility will do more good to your neighbor than pretentious words.