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Апостол Матфей: от мытаря до святогоThe Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew Levi Alphaeus (son of Alphaeus), whose memory is celebrated on November 29, new style is one of those spiritual warriors, who were converted unto God from sin to Holiness. The tax collectors not for nothing was known as the most despised people in ancient Israel: they can be considered the modern analogues of corrupt officials. But the transformation "Matthew the publican", the sinner of Levi, gives hope to many generations of the lost...

Why it was special, this "tax inspector", which compatriots, like all his colleagues, considered a thief and given to filthy lucre? Why among the publicans and harlots many listened to the Forerunner and Christ, and supposedly noble and humble Pharisees turned away from them? Blessed Theophylact of Bulgaria, the great rhetorician Church and interpreting Holy Scripture, said: "Urged him not with Peter and John, but when he saw that he will believe. And Paul called when the time came. See the same Evangelist, as he exposes his life, while others hid his name, calling him Levi. As for the fact that he had been converted by the word only, then this is the work of God. Very pleased by the visit of Christ, Matthew urged the publicans, and Christ to bring them, ate with them, although It is reproached for this. For the Pharisees, wanting to deter students, condemned what He communicates in eating with publicans. come now, saith the Lord, not as a judge, but as a doctor: so the stench suffer. The same words "come, learn" convinces them and how the ignorant, as you still have not learned, that though now go and learn what God is greater than the victim puts mercy to sinners".

One of the traits of human character, which the Lord rejoices first of all, is sincerity. The publicans and the harlots, people, descended to the social bottom, bear the mark of the fallen and doomed. Obviously, not all of them realized that, probably, various "pus", showing off its Vice, and "thieves in law" was enough then. But there were those who desperately called for help from above, and not finding her at once, were willing to wait indefinitely. Until the Lord comes and calls them as Levi, sitting by the wayside, or Zacchaeus, ready to despise anything, if only to receive Christ.

The future Apostle Matthew was very reminiscent of the godly from the parable of the publican, whose repentance shamed vain Pharisee from told by the Lord's parables: "is Said to some of which were sure of themselves that they were righteous, and despised others, the following parable: two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God! thank You that I'm not like other people, robbers, offenders, fornicators, or as this tax collector: I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. The publican, standing afar off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God! Be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled, and humiliating will raise" (LK. 18, 9-14). Although the life of the future of the Evangelist was still far from correct Apostolic way, Levi expressed his wish to step on it and most importantly, has shown its willingness to business. And it's in the eyes of the Savior was much opravdanie behavior of the Pharisees, whose real life is very disagreed with their forms of godliness.

In addition to the gift of apostleship Saint Matthew was given another, no less honor, is to transmit the revelation of God to the people, capturing it in one of the Gospels. The gospel of Matthew is the only inspired biography of the son of God not written in international at that time, Greek, and Aramaic, the native language of Jesus of Nazareth. Given that, ironically, former Gentiles had received the word of God, and the Jews, the chosen people, were beaten prophets and apostles stones clear how difficult and responsible mission was entrusted to the former tax collector. The symbol of Matthew and the gospel from him is a man because he has other managed to describe the incarnation of Christ as the Messiah, the Savior of the whole human race, lawgiver, prophet, and, most importantly, the Redeemer of sins, eternal priest after the order of Melchizedek.

Tradition has preserved little information about the further destiny of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew after Pentecost and the division of the twelve for the cause of the gospel. It is known that he worked in Mussels, Syria, Parthia and Persia, and the life of the disciple of the Lord Martyr ended in Ethiopia, at that time inhabited by people with the most wild pagan customs, including cannibals. There he converted to the true faith of the son of the local Governor of Fulvian, who was demon possessed. According to legend Ethiopian ruler, voznenavidel of the Apostle of the conversion to Christianity of many of his servants, gave orders to burn him at the stake, by placing around the last idols. After Fulvian ordered to kindle a fire stronger flame struck and idols, and himself, and the body of the Apostle Matthew remained unharmed. This occurred around 60 ad

The Lord has arranged so that after the uncovering of the relics of the ascetic Fulvian himself accepted Holy baptism and was subsequently glorified into the rank of Orthodox saints. The name, who baptized him, Bishop Platon was simultaneously executed name of the Apostle Matthew. So the persecutor became a Christian, something repeating the amazing transformation of the publican.

"Earnestly from mytnitsa to calling Vladice Christ, allshouse on earth person for the goodness That follow, the Apostle was elected art/ and a preacher of the gospel Selena veglegesen. So for the sake of honor honest memory thy Matthew Bogollagama, pray to the Merciful God, Yes, the forgiveness of sins will be served our souls" - sings the Church today in honor of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew. He is a lamp, brought many of darkness, and talent that brought Mr. ten other talents. And yet - the prayer book for the whole world, with all the angels and the saints.
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