Ideas for Celebrating the Feast of St. Matthew

by | Sep 21, 2012 | Feast Day Plans, St. Matthew | 3 comments

It has been so long since I’ve put together one of these posts!  This past week I noticed that I didn’t have any ideas in the archives here or over at Catholic Cuisine for the feast of St. Matthew, and it’s been on my mind ever since.   My husband is still out of town, and the baby happens to be asleep at the moment, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and ideas with you all.   I hope you have a very happy feast day (and happy birthday to my mom)!

September 21st
 Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist

Patron: Accountants; bankers; bookkeepers; customs officers; security guards; stock brokers; tax collectors; Salerno, Italy.

Symbols: Angel holding a pen or inkwell; bag of coins; loose coins; halberd; inkwell; king; lance; man holding money; man holding money box and/or glasses; money bag; money box; purse; spear; sword; winged man; young man; book; man sitting at a desk.

Matthew was a tax-collector in the city of Capharnaum, where Jesus was living.  He was a Jew but he was working for the Romans, who had conquered the Jews.   For this reason, his countrymen disliked him.  They would not have anything to do with these “publicans”, as tax collectors like Matthew were called.  
But Jesus did not feel that way about Matthew.  One day, He saw him sitting in his office and He said, “Follow Me.” At once, Matthew got up and left his money and his position to follow Our Lord, Who seemed so holy and king-like.   He gave a big supper for Jesus and invited other Publicans like himself to meet Jesus and listen to Him teach.  When some people criticized Our Lord for eating with sinners, Jesus answered, “They who are well do not need the doctor; the sick do.  I have not come to call the just, but sinners to repentance.”
When Jesus went back to Heaven, St. Matthew stayed in Palestine for some time to preach about Our Lord.  He also wrote his Gospel, which is the story of Jesus and what He taught.  In his Gospel, St. Matthew showed his countrymen that Jesus is the Messias whom the Prophets had said would come to save us. 
After preaching the Gospel to many people, St. Matthew ended his life as a glorious martyr for the Faith.  
If my parents ask me to do something, I will obey promptly, without asking them any questions or giving any excuses. 

.: Picture Books :. 

The Apostles of Jesus by Father Lovasik
Great Men of the New Testament by Rev. Jude Winkler

.: Food Suggestions :.

From My Nameday: Come for Dessert: “Dessert and decorations. The traditional book cake inscribed with the words “Verbum Dei manet in aeternum” (God’s Word lasts forever) would teach children that the Gospel of the inspired evangelist will continue forever upon the earth. Gold coins are suitable for Matthew’s feast or for his cake decoration. The coins are really discs of chocolate wrapped in gold foil; they can be found at almost any candy store.”

I thought Silver Dollar Pancakes would be fun and easy, plus they tie in perfectly to the “coin” theme since these pancakes got their name for being the same size as a silver dollar.  I posted our “St. Matthew’s Silver Dollar Pancakes” over at Catholic Cuisine.

Gold Chocolate Coins are another perfect treat for this feast day! You can just share a bag of the coins with your family, insert chocolate coins into a cake (like I did for our Twelfth Night Rum Cake), or even top your favorite cupcakes with a chocolate coin. 
Tuck a bag of Gold Chocolate Coins or maybe a Payday Candy Bar into your husband’s or child’s lunch box with the prayer to St. Matthew attached. 
St. Matthew is symbolized by a “money box or purse.” These St. Nicholas Purse Cookies would also make an fun and yummy treat for this feast day!

Since St. Matthew also wrote on of the books in the bible, you could make our Fig Newton “Bible Cookies.”   (They also look really cute with little bookmark’s added.) 

.: Coloring Pages :.

St. Matthew the Evangelist
colored by Rascal

Matthew (by Catholic Artworks, for those that own the CDs) 
colored by Twinkle Toes

.: Extra Activities :.

Church Windows would be a fun game to play on this feast day!   In this game, players repair and build church windows depicting the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Each card is a pane and each window is made of 3 panes – head, middle and feet.   2-4 players can all play together and it is recommended for ages 6 & up.  

Catholic Culture also offers a few additional suggestions, including: “Do something for the needy: money for missions, donations of clothing or toys, canned goods drive, etc.”

Read or Listen to some of the Gospel of Matthew on the Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible.  (We’ll be doing this on our long drive to town.) 

.:  Copywork :.


Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, 
 Bless the bed that I lie on. 
 Before I lay me down to sleep, 
 I give my soul to Christ to keep. 
 Four corners to my bed, 
 Four angels there aspread, 
 Two to foot and two to head, 
 And four to carry me when I’m dead. 
 I go by sea, I go by land; 
 The Lord made me with His right hand.

.: Prayer to St. Matthew :.

God of mercy, You chose a tax collector, St. Matthew, to share the dignity of the apostles. By his example and prayers, help us to follow Christ and remain faithful in Your service. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

St. Matthew the Apostle, Pray for Us! 


  1. Grace Hincapie

    Thank you so much Jessica! Sounds great!

  2. Jennifer

    I love these ideas. Thanks! My son's best friend is named Matthew. At our house we have Leo (St. Leo the Great), Justin (St. Justin Martyr), Gregory (St. Gregory the Great), Catherine (St. Catherine of Sienna), and Simon (St. Simon Stock). I know you have some food ideas for these saints at Catholic Cuisine but, if you have any extra time on your hands (haha) I'd love some craft ideas for these saints.

  3. LuluIzzyCro

    Where can I get the coloring book of St Matthew that is pictured above?


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