By Catholic Digest Staff
Feast Day: September 21st
Matthew, Levi, Son of Alpheus, tax-collector. Regardless of his name, Matthew’s occupation meant both Jews and non-Jews alike would have hated him. Yet, when Jesus was passing through a Roman garrison town, He took note of him. Having just cured a paralyzed man, Jesus then walked past the customs house and called out to the tax collector, “Follow me.” And in that instant, approached by this strange but miraculous man, Matthew did just that. He quit his job and followed. Some scholars even speculate he may have left behind his name as well, being given or taking on “Matthew,” “gift of Yahweh,” along with his new life. Attributed with writing one of the four Gospels, no one is really sure what he did after the resurrection took place, although there are a number of theories that place him everywhere from Ireland to Ethiopia. Although he’s venerated as a martyr, his relics are said to have disappeared during the 10th century invasions in Salerno. A letter from Pope St. Gregory VII to the archbishop of Salerno comments on the relics rediscovery, but the four different churches in France claiming to have his head make the reports questionable. St. Matthew is the patron of tax collectors, accountants, customs officials, moneychangers, alcoholics, and hospitals.