Witnesses to the Resurrection: St Matthias

By Jordan Grantham, Eastertide 2017
Pope St Gregory the Great and St Matthias, Masolino. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Exterior of St Matthias Abbey, Trier – the Shrine to St Matthias. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Name: St Matthias

Death: Late 1st century, disputed location and circumstances.

Feast Day: May 14

Patronage: Tailors, alcoholics, protection against smallpox, Trier

Shrine: St Matthias Abbey, Trier, Germany

The Crypt of St Matthias Abbey, the burial place of St Matthias the Apostle and St Eucharius. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Life Story and Scripture:

St Matthias was elected to “receive this office of ministry and apostleship which Judas abandoned to go where he belonged” (Acts 1: 25)

He had been with the apostles “all the while we had the Lord Jesus with us, coming and going, from the time of John’s ministry of baptism until the day when He was taken from us,” and “a witness to His resurrection.” (Acts 1: 21-22)

Church Fathers:

St Matthias is held to have preached the Gospel and died in Ethiopia.

In ancient times the region around the Black see was often referred to as “Ethiopia”.

The Sacramentary of Pope St Gregory the Great refers to the “passion” of St Matthias, which would mean he had a saint’s martyrdom.


With thanks to Rev Dr Paul Stenhouse MSC, Whatever happened to the twelve apostles? (2006, Chevalier Press)

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