Read: "Why I chose to be called Matthias" by Father Mathias Thelen, Pastor of Saint Patrick, Brighton

Today is the Feast of Saint Matthias the Apostle who was chosen to replace the treacherous Judas Iscariot as one of the Twelve. Happy feast day!

“This feast day means a lot to me,” explains Father Mathias Thelen, Pastor of St. Patrick in Brighton.

Father Mathias grew up with the abbreviated name “Matt” but decided upon entering seminary in 2003 to be “very intentional” in embracing his full Christian name, Mathias.

“After all the scandal that had been going on in the Church I said: My name is Mathias and I want to replace a Judas in the Church so that Christ can be proclaimed all the more.”

According to the Acts of the Apostles (1:15-26), during the days after the Ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven, Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers, about 120 of Jesus’ closest followers, and instructed them to choose a replacement for Judas:

“Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22).

They nominated two men: Joseph Barsabbas and Matthias. They prayed and drew lots. The choice fell upon Matthias, who was added to the Eleven. Saint Matthias, pray for us!

• First published May 14, 2020