A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
St Matthew the Apostle (Levi, Matthew the Evangelist, Gift of God). Eastern Christianity Feast Day for the First-Century non-Judean Galilean Disciple from Capernaum (כְּפַר נַחוּם, Kfar Nahum) on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. He was one of the Four Evangelists and in the Babylonian Talmud Mattai, one of five disciples of Jeshu. A publican and when called to follow Jesus he was a tax collector sitting to receive custom in Capernaum, Jesus saying: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew was a witness to the Ascension and preached the Gospel to the Judean Jewish community and in other countries. Literate in Aramaic and Greek, he collected the sayings of or about Jesus in the Hebrew language (Hebraïdi dialektōi) to interpret them, and the short anonymous Gospel of Matthew is accorded to him. Jewish-Christian gospels are also attributed to Matthew and fragments survive. Dying in Ethiopia, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches each hold the tradition that Matthew was a martyr. Venerated in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Catholic Churches, Oriental Orthodoxy, Church of the East, Anglican Communion, Lutheranism. Western Christianity Feast Day and Lutheran Lesser Festival 21 September. Patron of accountants, Salerno, bankers, tax collectors and civil servants. Image: ewtn.com.
St Margaret of Scotland (Saunt Magret, S Margaritae, Scotorum Reginae, Queen of Scots, The Pearl of Scotland, Margaret of Wessex) (1046-93). Feast Day for the very pious Catholic Anglo-Saxon Princess and Queen Consort of Scotland, the mother to four kings of Scotland. She revived Iona Abbey and laid the foundations of Dunfermline Abbey, the first Benedictine house in Scotland. As King Knut the Great had exiled her father, Margaret was born in Hungary. As a child, she came to England with all the family, but her father died on landing, the reasons not being known. After the 1066 Norman Conquest, her mother decided to return to the Continent but a storm drove the ship north to St Margaret’s Hope in the Kingdom of Scotland and they sought the protection of Malcolm III (Mael Coluim III) the King of Alba. A widower with two sons, Donald and Duncan, he married Margaret. Among her many charitable works, Margaret established a ferry across the Firth of Forth for pilgrims travelling to St Andrews, which gave the towns of South Queensferry and North Queensferry their names. Margaret is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church and Anglican Communion and commemorated as a renewer of society by the Lutheran Church. Her pocket Gospel book survives. Patron of Scotland, Dunfermline, Fife, Shetland, The Queen’s Ferry, Anglo-Scottish relations. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.
Prayer Lord, you gave Saint Margaret of Scotland a special love for the poor. Let her example and prayers help us to become a living sign of Your goodness. Amen
Naomh Lorcán ua Tuathail (St Laurence O’Toole, Saint Laurent d’Eu) (c1125-80). Feast Day for Irish prince and Archbishop of Dublin. He played a prominent rôle in the Twelfth-Century Irish Church Reform Movement and mediated between the parties during and after the Norman invasion. At twenty-five, he became Abbot of Glendalough and began a spiritual renewal programme amongst the monks to bring the Gaelic Abbey into line with the Frankish Abbeys of Continental Europe. He invited the Canons of St Augustine to assist in the reform of his Abbey and became a member of the Augustinian Order himself, protecting his community from brigandage during a time of famine through his solemn prayer, fasting and a miraculous curse. In 1161, he was elected Archbishop of Dublin, the first Irishman to be appointed to the See, which was then ruled by Norsemen, and he began to build churches. In a city that became the centre of English power in Ireland, he stretched out his hand to care for the poor and the neglected, feeding them in his home and establishing care centres for the children who had been abandoned by their parents or orphaned. Norman knights breached the walls of Dublin, burning houses and killing the unarmed people but Lorcán stopped the slaughter. From then on, he was the one man in Ireland who was trusted by the Irish, Norsemen and Normans, all having an equal respect for him as a man of total honour and integrity. Patron of Archdiocese of Dublin. Image: pinterest.com.au.