St. Matthew–the Tax Man

St. Matthew, in this statue found in the Evergreen Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona, is depicted with a quill and a scroll representing his authorship of the First Gospel.  The statue of St. Matthew also has a small winged figure by his side in this sculpture.  This figure is often thought to be an angel but instead represents all humankind and the possibility that everyone has for divine inspiration.

In the mosaic from the columbarium in the St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Phoenix, St. Matthew is depicted only as a winged man.  The symbols for the Four Evangelists are mentioned in the King James version of the Bible, Revelation 4:7, “The first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.”  When the Evangelists are shown together, they are often only depicted with those symbols.

St. Matthew’s feast day is September 21st.  St. Matthew was a Jewish tax collector, which then as now, was a profession that was disliked by most.  It is also the most likely the reason he is the patron saint of tax collectors.  St. Matthew is also the patron saint of bankers, accountants, stockbrokers, and customs officials.

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