Saint Matthias

According to Christian dogma, Matthias was selected to replace Judas Iscariot. After the martyrdom of Jesus Christ and Judas’ suicide had left only eleven disciples, St. Peter organized a vote to bring their numbers back up to twelve (twelve is a closed and perfect number; there were twelve tribes of Israel and twelve sons of Jacob). The other candidate was Joseph, called Barnabas, and the quality of both candidates was so equal that lots had to be cast. Matthias preached in Judea and in the regions surrounding the Caspian Sea and tradition also places him in Ethiopia. He is reported to have been martyred in Cappadocia. His attributes include an axe or halbert (a killing weapon). He is the patron saint of butchers, confectioners, blacksmiths, tailors and young people, helping to prevent whooping cough, smallpox and infertility.


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