St Matthew

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Apostle and evangelist, St Matthew was called Levi by St Mark and St Luke. He was a Jewish tax collector for the Romans working and living in Capernum before he was called by Jesus.

St Matthew wrote first of all for his fellow Jews, longing to show them how Jesus had fulfilled their deepest hopes. He brought a message of a Saviour who would never desert his followers. The last words of Matthew's Gospel, quotes Jesus' command that his followers must baptise disciples from all mankind before he promises: "I am with you always, to the end of the world."

Though Matthew was writing for his own people, he alone tells of the first non-Jews to worship Jesus: the three Magi who followed a star that lead them to the stable at Bethlehem.

It was Matthew who set down the words at the Sermon on the Mount. Of the Parables that Matthew tells us, which we know from no one else, one stands out especially: the story of the sheep and the goats. The parable ends with the message that whatever we do to the least of our brethren we do to Jesus.

No one knows when or how St Matthew died. Tradition says he was martyred in Ethiopia.

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