Today the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew is celebrated

Photo: Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew

Matthew was the son of Alphaeus, first a publican (that is, a tax collector or publican) and as such the Lord saw him in Capernaum and called him: "Follow Me." And after he got up, he followed Him (Matthew 9, 9 ). Then Matthew gave the Lord a reception in his home and gave the Lord an opportunity to pronounce several great truths about His coming to earth. He was numbered among the twelve apostles. After receiving the Holy Spirit, St. Matthew preached the Gospel in Parthia, in Media and in Ethiopia, the land of black people. In Ethiopia, he appointed Platon, his follower, as bishop, and he himself withdrew into prayer solitude in the mountain where the Lord appeared to him. He baptized the wife and son of the prince of that country, because of which the prince became angry and sent guards to bring Matthew before him in court. The soldiers went and returned to the prince saying that they heard Matthew's voice, but they could not see the holy apostle with their eyes. Then the prince sent another guard. When this guard also approached the apostle, he was illuminated by a heavenly light so strong that the soldiers could not see him, but filled with fear they threw down their weapons and returned. Then the prince went alone. When he approached St. Matthew, he shone with such a flash that the prince suddenly went blind. But the holy apostle had a merciful heart, he prayed to God and the prince saw - unfortunately he saw only with his physical eyes, not with his spiritual eyes. He seized St. Matthew and subjected him to angry tortures. But the power of God keeps him alive and unharmed. Then, the apostle prayed to God and surrendered his spirit to Him. The Holy Apostle Matthew wrote the Gospel in Hebrew, which was soon translated into Greek and came down to us in Greek, while the one in Hebrew was lost. It is said about this evangelist that he never ate meat, but fed on fruits and vegetables.

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