St. Matthew the Apostle


Matthew (d. 1st century) was an apostle who was also called Levi, or Matthew the Levite. He was probably born in Galilee and worked as a tax collector at Capernaum (Mt 9:9-13) when Christ called him to follow him (Mk 2:14; Lk 5:27-32).

Matthew was the author of the first Gospel, written between 60 and 90. It was probably in Hebraic or in Aramaic in its original form. Some scholars believe Matthew was in Antioch, Syria, when he wrote the Gospel.

This apostle preached in Jerusalem and then went to Ethiopia, where he was martyred in Persia (modern Iran) or in Ethiopia. Matthew provides a telling portrait of Christ in his Gospel, including his genealogy, ministry, Passion, and Resurrection. The entire work is designed to provide a true recognition of Christ as the Messiah.

Matthew is represented in liturgical art by an angel holding a lance, a coin, a pen, or a money box.

His feast day is September 21.