March 17, 2019 - Baramhat 8, 1735
Martyrdom of St.Matthias, the apostle
On this day St. Matthias, the apostle was martyred about 63 A.D. He was born in Bethlehem, followed the apostles and was chosen in place of Judas Iscariot in the upper room on the mount of Zion. Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, 'Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; 'for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.' (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) 'For it is written in the book of Psalms: 'Let his habitation be desolate, and let no one live in it'; and, 'Let another take his office.' 'Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 'beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.' And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, 'You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 'to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.' And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:15-26)
Afterwards he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and went to preach the Gospel until he came to the country of cannibals. The custom of those people was whenever they seized a stranger, they put him in prison for thirty days feeding him grass, then they bring him out and eat him. When St. Matthias came to them and preached among them the massage of love they seized him, plucked out his eyes and put him in prison. Before the thirty days were over God sent to him Andrew the apostle and his disciple. They came to the prison and saw the prisoners and what abominable things the people of the city did to them. Satan inspired the people of the city to seize them also and kill them.
When they were about to seize them, the two Saints prayed to the Lord, and a stream of water flowed from under one of the pillar of the prison. The water flowed out into the city, and rose up until it reached the necks of the people. When the people of the city gave up all hope of saving their lives, they came to the apostles, and wept before them confessing their sins. The apostles told them 'Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.' They all believed and they released St. Matthias.
St. Matthias, along with St. Andrew and his disciple taught them the mystery of the Incarnation of the Lord Christ. The Apostles prayed and entreated God Who made the water to cease then they baptized them in the Name of the Holy Trinity. They also prayed to The Lord Christ Who removed from them their barbaric nature. The Apostles appointed over them bishops and priests. They tarried with them for a while during which they instructed them and confirmed them in the faith, then they left. The people of the city entreated them to come back to them speedily.
St. Matthias went to the city of Damascus and preached there in the Name of the Lord Christ. The people of the city became angry so they took him and laid him upon an iron bed, they lighted a fire under it which did not harm him but his face was shining with light like the sun. They marvelled exceedingly and they all believed on the Lord Christ through St. Matthias the apostle who baptized them, and appointed priests for them. He tarried many days with them confirming them in the faith. Afterward he departed in peace in one of the city of the jews called Falawon (Pilawon) where his body was laid.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.