Saint Matthias


May 19, 2022

Matthias (Koine Greek: αθθίας, Maththías, from Hebrew מַתִּתְיָהוּ Mattiṯyāhū; Coptic: ⲙⲁⲑⲓⲁⲥ; died about 80 AD) according to the Book of Acts (written about 80–90 AD) was the apostle credited chosen to replace Judas Iscariot after the betrayal of Jesus and the subsequent death of Judas. Calling him an apostle is unique because it was not personally acknowledged by Jesus (who was now ascended to heaven) and was also done before the descent of the Holy Spirit on the early Church.


Matthias is not mentioned in the list of disciples or followers of Jesus in the three Synoptic Gospels, but according to the Book of Acts, he was with Jesus from John's baptism until Jesus ascended to heaven. In the days that followed, Peter suggested that the disciples gather, numbering about 120, to nominate two people to replace Judas. They chose Joseph called Basaba (their name was Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed: "The Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, will know whether these two have chosen, that he can join this apostolate, since Judas sinned, and could have gone to its own place." (Acts 1:24-25) Then they randomly placed the number that fell on Matthias; Thus, he is numbered with the eleven already existing apostles. No further information about Matthias is found in the canonical New Testament. Even his name is subject to change: the Syriac version of Eusebius calls him not Matthias but "Tolmai", not to be confused with Bartholomew (meaning Son of Tolmai), one of the original Twelve Apostles. Water; Clement of Alexandria once referred to Zacchaeus in a way that can be read as suggesting that some have identified him with Matthias; Clementine Recognitions identifies Matthias as Barnabas; Theologian Hilgenfeld thinks that Matthias is the same person as Natanael in the Gospel of John.


Greek tradition says that Saint Matthias put his faith in Cappadocia and resided mainly near the port of Issus on the shores of the Caspian Sea. According to Nicephorus (Historia eccl., 2, 40), Matthias originally preached the Gospel in Judea. , then in Aethiopia (in the Colchis region, now in Georgia) and stoned to death. The Acts of Andrew and Matthias, a remnant of the Coptics, similarly places his activity in the "city of cannibals" in Aethiopia. A marker placed in the ruins of the Roman fortress at Gonio (Apsaros) in the Adjara region of modern Georgia states that Mathhia was buried at that site. However, this claim has yet to be verified as the Georgian government has not yet authorized the site to be excavated. The Synopsis of Dorotheus contains this tradition: "Matthias preached the Gospel to barbarians and eaters. meat in the interior of Ethiopia, at the seaport of Hyssus, at the mouth of the Phasis River. He died at Sebastopolis, and was buried there, near the Temple of the Sun." Also, another tradition holds that Matthias was stoned. in Jerusalem by locals and then beheaded (see Tillemont, Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire ecclesiastique des six premiers siècles, I, 406.7). According to Hippolytus of Rome,