By Christina Hermoso
Roman Catholics commemorate Tuesday the Feast of Saint Matthias, the 12th apostle of Jesus Christ, who took the place of Judas Iscariot after Judas betrayed Jesus and took his own life out of guilt.
A loyal and avid follower of Jesus from His baptism at the Jordan River until His Ascension, St. Matthias was one of the 72 disciples mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures who were sent out by Christ to evangelize and spread the Word of God.
St. Peter, as the leader of the apostles and Vicar of the Church, had one criterion for Judas’ replacement, that like Andrew, James, John, and himself, the new apostle must have been a follower of Jesus from the very beginning.
St. Matthias, who served as bishop of Jerusalem, was chosen by lot over another righteous man named Barsabba. After receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, he preached in Judea, Turkey, and Ethiopia, where he converted thousands to Christianity.
According to tradition, St. Matthias died a martyr of the faith in 80 A.D.