A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

The Battle of the Trench (غزوة الخندق‎, Battle of Khandaq, معركة خندق‎, Battle of the Confederates, غزوة الاحزاب‎). Shi’a Islam Day of Remembrance, on 2 Shawwal, of 27-day-long defence by Muslims of Yathrib (Medina) against Arab and Jewish tribesmen. The strength of those confederate armies was 10,000 men with 600 horses and camels, whilst the Medinan defenders numbered only 3,000. The defenders led by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) dug a trench at the suggestion of Salman the Persian, and together with Medina’s natural fortifications this stymied the confederate cavalry and led to a stalemate. The Prophet’s diplomacy then broke up the confederacy and their sinking morale and bad weather caused the siege to end in farce with very few Muslim casualties. Image: blogswithwg.com.

St Matthias, Apostle  (Μαθθίας, מַתִּתְיָהוּ,ⲙⲁⲑⲓⲁⲥ) (dc80). Evangelical Lutheran Lesser Festival and Feast Day in Roman Catholic Church and some parts of the Anglican Communion for 1st-Century Judean chosen by the Apostles to replace Judas Iscariot following the latter’s betrayal of Jesus and his subsequent death. The choice of Matthias from 120 Disciples gathered in the upper room was the first act of the Apostles after the Ascension of Jesus. Peter had one criterion, that the new Apostle be someone who had been a Disciple from the very beginning, Jesus’ baptism by John, until the Ascension. He must have followed Jesus faithfully from before anyone knew Him, when He made enemies and when He spoke of the Cross and the Bread and the Wine. There were 2 candidates, Matthias and Joseph (Barsabbas), who had been with the other Apostles and with Jesus through his whole Ministry, Passion and Resurrection. As only the Lord could know what was in the heart of each, lots were cast and Matthias was chosen as the 12th Apostle to make the group whole again as they awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit. Matthias’ calling as an Apostle is unique, as it was not made during Jesus’ Ministry. The Greek tradition is that St Matthias planted the faith about Cappadocia and on the coasts of the Caspian Sea. After preaching the Gospel to barbarians and meat-eaters in the interior of Ethiopia, Matthias evangelised in Judaea and Georgia and was stoned to death in Colchis or Jerusalem. St Helena acquired his relics in the 4th Century and they were translated to: Rome; the Abbey of Saint Justina (Abbazia Santa Giustina) in Padua; and the Abbey of Saint Matthias in Trier. Venerated in Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, Anglican Communion. Feast Day 9 August Eastern Orthodox Church, 24 February (in leap years 25 February) Western Rite Orthodoxy, Anglican Communion, Episcopal Church, Lutheran Church, alternate Feast Day Church of England 24 February. Patron of alcoholics, carpenters, tailors, smallpox victims, invoked for hope, perseverance. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.

Prayer O Almighty God, Who after the death of the traitor Judas didst shew that Matthias might take the part of the ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell and that Thy faithful servant Matthias should be numbered with the eleven Apostles so that they might once again be twelve, grant that Thy Church, being always preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Sint Ingelmund van Velsen (St Engelmund) (d739). Feast Day for English priest and Benedictine Abbot who went as a missionary to Friesland, joining St Willibrord of Echternach, the first Bishop of Utrecht who founded several Benedictine monasteries. Inglemund had lived in Friesland with his parents and knew the language. His evangelising was based at Velsen, where he later died of fever at an advanced age. Invoked against toothache.  Image: en.wikipedia.org.