Who Is St. Matthias?
According to the Catholic Church, St. Matthias, whose name in Hebrew means gift of the Lord, was appointed an Apostle following the betrayal and suicide of Judas Iscariot, one of the original 12 Apostles. Matthias was one of the original 72 disciples of the Lord from the time of Jesus’s baptism in the Jordan River.
Judaea (first century a.d.–a.d. 80)
Patron: reformed alcoholics, tailors
Feast day: May 14
After the Ascension of Jesus to heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter and the other Apostles met to decide what to do about the vacancy left by Judas. The choice was between Matthias and Barsabas, and the Apostles chose Matthias by casting lots (Acts 1:26).
St. Clement of Alexandria explains how Matthias preached throughout Judea, Greece, and Cappadocia (in present-day Turkey), as well as the great discipline Matthias practiced. Based on his experiences with the Lord, he was able to abstain from legitimate pleasures in order to control the lower passions. Subsequently, he became one of the patron saints for alcoholics.
He was martyred in Jerusalem, stoned to death. In the fourth century, St. Helena transferred his relics to Rome.