- Matthew the Tax Collector
- Road to Sainthood
- The Beatitudes
- Related Saints
- Related Prayers
- Birth: 1st Century
- Location: Galilee
- Death: 60-80 AD
- Beatification: N/A (Before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints)
- Canonized: N/A (Before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints)
- Feast Day: September 21st
- Patron Saint of: Bookkeepers and bankers
Matthew the Tax Collector
St. Matthew was a first-century Galilean tax collector who became the sacred author of the Gospel of Matthew. It is believed that he changed his name from “Levi” to “Matthew” after his conversion.
In Jesus’s time, tax collectors were seen as conniving, greedy men. They used deception and force to gain honor and wealth at the expense of their fellow Jews. Other Jews hated and shunned them. This reputation surely followed Matthew, yet Jesus still sought him.
Road to Sainthood
In the Gospels, Matthew is sitting in the tax collector’s booth when Jesus sees him and calls him. Jesus simply says, “Follow me,” and Matthew leaves everything behind – security, status, and power – to follow Jesus without delay.
Matthew wrote his Gospel primarily for a Jewish audience, with an emphasis on the fulfillment of God’s prophecies. He teaches us that God’s salvation is for every individual, but we must give our whole selves for the sake of the Gospel.
The Beatitudes are one of the most influential teachings in the Gospel of Matthew, found in the first chapter in a section of Jesus’ teachings known as the Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes are a challenging but inspiring call to live a life of love, compassion, and justice. They offer a path to true happiness and fulfillment, and they remind us that God blesses those who are humble, merciful, and peacemakers.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
St. Matthew Prayers
Saint Matthew inspires us to be diligent and to strive for humility. He left his comfort and pleasures to follow Jesus, providing a perfect example of what it looks like to follow God despite financial difficulties.
If you are going through financial challenges and would like St. Matthew’s intercession, you can say the following prayer:
O God, who with untold mercy were pleased to choose as an Apostle Saint Matthew, the tax collector, grant that, sustained by his example and intercession, we may merit to hold firm in following you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
St. Matthew, pray for us.
- St. Matthew Catholic Church – Hallandale Beach, Fla.
- St. Matthew Catholic Church – Charlotte, N.C.
- Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle – Washington, D.C.
- St. Matthew Catholic Church – Tyrone, GA
- St. Matthew’s University – West Bay, Cayman Islands