Catholic Saints

Saint Matthew

  • Short, concise biography of Saint Matthew
  • History, Life, Biography, Facts and Information about Saint Matthew
  • Fast, concise facts and information about Saint Matthew
  • What is Saint Matthew the patron of?
  • Date of Death
  • How Saint Matthew is represented in Christian Art
  • Feast Day

The Patron Saint Matthew

What is the definition and the meaning of the Patron Saints and why were these people chosen to become patrons of causes, professions and countries?

The term 'Patron' is used in Christian religions, including the Roman Catholic religion, to describe holy and virtuous men and women who are considered to be a defender of a specific group of people or of a country.

There is a patron for virtually every cause, country, profession or special interest.

There are two categories of saints: martyrs and confessors.

Fast, concise facts and information about Saint Matthew
The following provides fast and concise facts and information:

  • The patron of Tax collectors, Finances and Accountants
  • Memorial Day / Feast Day: September 21st
  • Date of Death of Saint Matthew is unknown
  • Cause of Death: Axed to Death

Who or what is Saint Matthew the patron saint of?
Saint Matthew is the patron of Tax collectors and Accountants. Meanings, definition and origins - a patron is considered to be a defender of a specific group of people or of a nation. There is a patron for virtually every cause, profession or special interest. Prayers are considered more likely to be answered by asking a patron for intercession on their behalf.

Prayer to St. Matthew

The Story and History of Saint Matthew
The story and history of Saint Matthew. Matthew was originally a  tax-gatherer, in the service of the Romans who became one of the twelve Apostles and the author of the first Gospel. He was the son of Alphaeus born at Capernaum, a settlement on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, about a year after the birth of Jesus. Matthew was employed as a tax collector from which he gained knowledge of languages such as Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew. The Roman system for collecting taxes lent itself to fraud and corruption. Wealthy people would 'bid' on the right to collect taxes in their region and anything they collected over the Roman's demands was kept as profit. Tax Collectors were considered "unclean" because they had unacceptable forms of contact with gentile people (the Romans). They were also commonly regarded to be thieves because they were often fraudulent charging extortionist amounts due to the tax collection system. Matthew 9:9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. Matthew became a disciple of Jesus spreading Christianity after the crucifixion of Jesus. At the time of the persecution of Herod Agrippa I in 42 AD, Matthew left the country and travelled to Cypress and North Africa. He was put to death at Naddabar in Ethiopia with a halberd (a pike fitted with an axe head).  The year of his death year is unknown.

Death of Saint Matthew
There are two categories of saints: martyrs and confessors. A Christian martyr is regarded as one who is put to death for his Christian faith or convictions. Confessors are people who died natural deaths. Date of Death: unknown. Cause of Death: Axed to Death. 

Why is Saint Matthew the patron of Tax collectors and Accountants?
Why is Saint Matthew is the patron of Tax collectors and Accountants? Because he was originally a publican, or tax-gatherer, in the service of the Romans.

How Saint Matthew is represented in Christian Art
It is helpful to be able to recognise Saint Matthew in paintings, stained glass windows, illuminated manuscripts, architecture and other forms of Christian art. The artistic representations reflect the life or death of saints, or an aspect of life with which the person is most closely associated. Saint Matthew is represented in Christian Art with a purse or money-bag. Occasionally we find him seated at a desk, with money spread out before him. As the Evangelist, he appears with book, pen, and inkhorn, and generally an angel standing by dictating the Gospel to him.

Feast Day of Saint Matthew
The Feast Day of Saint Matthew is September 21st. The origin of Feast Days: most saints have specially designated feast days and are associated with a specific day of the year and these are referred to as the saint's feast day. The feast days first arose from the very early Christian custom of the annual commemoration of martyrs on the dates of their deaths at the same time celebrating their birth into heaven.

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