Saint Matthias, the holy man chosen to replace Judas Iscariot following his betrayal of the Lord. While little is known about Matthias, we do know that due to his sanctity and involved in the early church, he was one of the few man selected as a potential replacement in the original twelve disciples, and upon his selection, he worked tirelessly to preach the Gospel in “unfriendly” areas, receiving the crown of martyrdom.
15In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus— 17he was one of our number and shared in this ministry."
18(With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20"For," said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms, " 'May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,' and, " 'May another take his place of leadership.' 21Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."
23So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs." 26Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. (Acts 1: 15-26)
Ascension of Jesus, the first task the disciples focused on was increasing their number to twelve. In their minds, twelve was a very important number- it the number of the tribes of Israel. If the new Israel was to come from the disciples of Jesus, a twelfth apostle was needed. Peter firmly believed that the twelfth disciple should be one who was with Jesus from the beginning of His ministry, telling us that Matthias, while never mentioned prior to this passage in the Acts of the Apostles, was one of the original believers. Matthias had been present at the crucifixion and the resurrection, and was now called to live a life of profound witness to the glory of the Risen Lord.
"Matthias preached the Gospel to barbarians and meat-eaters in the interior of Ethiopia, where the sea harbor of Hyssus is, at the mouth of the river Phasis. He died at Sebastopolis, and was buried there, near the Temple of the Sun."
baptism to His ascension, and was nominated by the remaining eleven due to his being personally suited for the position. He gladly received the call, allowing himself to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and more deeply entering the early community of faith. If the apostles are the foundations of our faith by their witness, they must also be reminders that holiness is entirely a matter of God’s giving, and it is offered to all, in the everyday circumstances of life. We receive, God supplying the power of our freedom in Him. Along these lines, Clement of Alexandria wrote: “Not that they became apostles through being chosen for some distinguished peculiarity of nature, since also Judas was chosen along with them. But they were capable of becoming apostles on being chosen by Him who foresees even ultimate issues. Matthias, accordingly, who was not chosen along with them, on showing himself worthy of becoming an apostle, is substituted for Judas.”
“We must combat the flesh, taking what advantages we can without giving it blameworthy delights. Regarding the soul, we should develop it through intelligence and faith.” In considering Saint Matthias, and his preaching of avoidance of worldly temptations, he can be pictured in opposition to Judas—a sign of redemption not only of the twelve, but of sinners for all time.
About that time all the apostles had come together to the same place, and shared among themselves the countries, casting lots, in order that each might go away into the part that had fallen to him. By lot, then, it fell to Matthias to set out to the country of the man-eaters. And the men of that city used neither to eat bread nor drink wine; but they ate the flesh of men, and drank their blood. Every man, therefore, who came into their city they laid hold of, and digging they thrust out his eyes, and gave him a drug to drink, prepared by sorcery and magic; and from drinking the drug his heart was altered and his mind deranged.
Matthias then having come into the gate of their city, the men of that city laid hold of him, and thrust out his eyes; and after putting them out they made him drink the drug of their magical deception, and led him away to the prison, and put beside him grass to eat, and he ate it not. For when he had partaken of their drug, his heart was not altered, nor his mind deranged; but he kept praying to God, weeping, and saying: Lord Jesus Christ, for whose sake we have forsaken all things and have followed Thee, knowing that Thou art the helper of all who hope in Thee, attend then and behold what they have done to Matthias Thy servant, how they have made me nigh to the brutes; for Thou art He who knowest all things. If, therefore, Thou hast ordained that the wicked men in this city should eat me up, I will not by any means flee from Thy dispensation. Afford to me then, O Lord, the light of mine eyes, that at least I may behold what the wicked men in this city have in hand for me; do not forsake me, O my Lord Jesus Christ, and do not give me up to this bitter death.
While Matthias was thus praying in the prison, a light shone, and there came forth out of the light a voice saying: Beloved Matthias, receive thy sight. And immediately he received his sight. And again there came forth a voice saying: Be of good courage, our Matthias, and be not dismayed; for I shall not by any means forsake thee, for I shall deliver thee from all danger; and not only thee, but also all thy brethren who are with thee: for I am with thee everywhere and at all times. But remain here twenty-seven days for the edification of many souls; and after that I shall send forth Andrew to thee, and he shall lead thee forth out of this prison; and not thee only, but also all who hear. Having said this, the Savior said again to Matthias, Peace be to thee, our Matthias, and went into heaven. Then Matthias having beheld Him, said to the Lord: Let thy grace abide with me, O my Lord Jesus.
Then Matthias therefore sat down in the prison, and sang. And it came to pass that, when the executioners came into the prison to bring forth the men to eat them, Matthias also shut his eyes, that they might not behold that he saw. And the executioners having come to him, read the ticket in his hand, and said among themselves: Yet three days, and we shall bring out this one also from the prison, and slay him. Because in the case of every man whom they laid hold of, they noted that day on which they laid hold of him, and tied a ticket to his right hand, that they might know the completion of the thirty days.
Father, you called Saint Matthias to share in the mission of the apostles. By the help of his prayers may we receive with joy the love you share with us and be counted among those You have chosen. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever.
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."