Feast Days & Saints of the Week
St Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist
Feast Day: 21 September
Patronage: Accountants; bankers; customs officers; security forces; tax collectors.
He was born in Capernaum, and was working as a tax-collector when Jesus called him. He is thought by some scholars to have written an early version of his gospel in Aramaic, a precursor to the Greek version we now have. He is also said to have preached in the East.
Matthew’s Gospel is given pride of place in the canon of the New Testament, and was written to convince Jewish readers that their anticipated Messiah had come in the person of Jesus. He preached among the Jews for 15 years; his audiences may have included the Jewish enclave in Ethiopia, and places in the East.
St Pio of Pietrelcina, Priest
Feast Day: 23 September
Born: 25 May 1887
Died: 23 September 1968 in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy of natural causes
He was born in the small village of Pietrelcina in southern Italy, and joined the Capuchin friars at the age of 16. He became a priest seven years later, and spent fifty years at the monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo, where he was very much sought after as a spiritual advisor, confessor, and intercessor. Many miracles were popularly ascribed to him during his lifetime. He died a few days after the fiftieth anniversary of his receiving the stigmata, and over 100,000 people attended his funeral.
St Cosmas & Damian, Martyrs
Feast Day: 26 September
Patronage: blind people, barbers, doctors, pharmacists, hairdressers, hernia patients.
Born: 3rd century, of Arabic descent
Died: tortured and beheaded c.3 03 in Aegea, Cilicia (modern Ayas, Turkey)
St Vincent de Paul
Feast Day: 27 September
Patronage: lepers, charities, hospital workers, prisoners
Born: 24 April 1581 in Landes, France
Died: 27 September 1660 at Paris, France of natural causes. His body was found incorrupt when exhumed in 1712.
Canonized: 16 June 1737 by Pope Clement XII
He was born in Aquitaine and became a priest. He devoted his whole life to the service of the poor. He founded a congregation of priests for missionary work, groups of laymen to help paupers and galley-slaves, and, with St Louise de Marillac, the Sisters of Charity.