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St. Matthew The Apostle

Matthew the son of Alphaeus and the author of one of the four Gospels was a tax collector when he was called by Jesus to be a disciple (Matthew 9:9, Mark 2:14, Luke 5:27). He is also called Levi in the Gospels; it was not unusual for Jewish men of the time to have two names. Matthew was a native of Galilee, like Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Tax collectors were scorned by their fellow Israelites, since they worked for the occupying Romans and frequently cheated other Israelites by collecting more than was due and retaining it for themselves. After his calling as a disciple, Matthew hosted a dinner for Jesus at his house and the Pharisees were angry because Jesus ate with “tax collectors and sinners.” Our Lord replied, “I came not to call the just, but sinners.” Jesus made Matthew one of His twelve Apostles. After the Resurrection of Jesus, some sources say that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jews for some years and then evangelized Egypt and part of Persia, Macedonia, and Syria, but since the ancient sources do not all agree, modern scholars are unsure of the exact areas in which Matthew preached. It is thought that he wrote his Gospel before leaving Palestine. It is also thought that Matthew was martyred for the Faith, but one ancient source recounts that he died of natural causes. Most scholars believe the Apostle was killed, although it not known exactly how or where. The feast of St. Matthew is on September 21; he is represented in art as a winged man. Some later writings have been attributed to Matthew but they are apocryphal; one was written as late as the sixth century

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