Top 13 Tips Why the Soul-Stirring St Matthew Prayer Could Transform Your Life
The beautiful and poetic St Matthew Prayer has been treasured by Catholics for centuries. This prayer devoted to St. Matthew invites us to reflect on the apostle’s virtuous example and seek his heavenly intercession. As we recite the eloquent words of the St Matthew prayer, we open our hearts to draw nearer to Christ while also honoring one of His most faithful followers.
The moving sentiments contained in the St. Matthew prayer allow us to meditate on the life of this holy apostle who spread the gospel message near and far. By humbly requesting St. Matthew to bless us and guide us closer to Jesus, this prayer becomes a pathway to enrich our own relationship with God.
The St Matthew prayer originated from venerable Catholic traditions and its elegant language stirs inspiration. In this blog post, we will explore the origins, themes, and spiritual riches contained in the St Matthew prayer. Understanding the background of this prayer amplifies its beauty. We will also discuss ways to incorporate the St. Matthew prayer into daily spiritual life for a more profound devotion.
Whether celebrating the Feast of St. Matthew or simply deepening your tie to this apostle, praying the St. Matthew prayer unfolds boundless grace. Let us begin unfolding the history and blessings of this prayer.
What is the St Matthew Prayer?
The St Matthew Prayer, also known as the Prayer to St. Matthew, is a beautiful, poetic prayer associated with the apostle and evangelist St. Matthew. It is a prayer asking for the intercession and blessings of St. Matthew. The prayer extols St. Matthew’s virtues and God’s gifts bestowed upon him.
It asks St. Matthew to pray for us that we may follow his example and become true disciples of Jesus Christ. Though the exact origins of the St Matthew Prayer are unknown, it is frequently used by Catholics and other Christians who honor St. Matthew. It is a prayer that inspires one to grow closer to God and live according to His will.
Who was St. Matthew?
St. Matthew, also known as Levi, was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and the traditional author of the first gospel account in the New Testament. St. Matthew worked as a tax collector in Capernaum before he was called by Jesus to become one of his disciples. As a tax collector, St. Matthew would have been viewed negatively and treated as an outcast by many. However, Jesus looked past societal perceptions and saw St. Matthew’s heart. When Jesus said, “Follow me”, St. Matthew immediately left behind his old way of life to become a disciple.
As one of the twelve apostles, St. Matthew closely followed Jesus, heard his teachings, and witnessed his miracles firsthand. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, St. Matthew remained in Judea to continue the Lord’s work, preaching and converting many to Christianity before his martyrdom. The Gospel of Matthew contains important details about Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection. St. Matthew faithfully recorded Christ’s words and actions to share the good news with future generations.
What is the origin of the St Matthew Prayer?
The specific origin of the St Matthew Prayer is uncertain, though some Catholic traditions attribute it to St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, two English martyrs from the 16th century. Various sources date the St Matthew Prayer back to the Middle Ages. It is clear that the prayer has been valued and used within the Catholic Church for centuries. While the exact creator may be unknown, the beauty of the prayer’s words and sentiment toward St. Matthew have resonated with the faithful for generations.
Some key points on the roots of the St Matthew Prayer:
– Part of longstanding Catholic/Christian tradition honoring St. Matthew
– Dates back possibly to Middle Ages; exact creator uncertain
– Used and shared for centuries as devotion to St. Matthew
– Prayer valued for elegant words praising virtues of St. Matthew
– May have links to 16th century English martyrs St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More
– Has been treasured by the faithful even if origins not fully clear
Regardless of its precise beginning, the St Matthew Prayer has endured as a sincere tribute to the apostle and an invocation for his intercession. The touching words honor St. Matthew’s faithfulness to Christ and God’s blessings upon him.
What are the key components of the St Matthew Prayer?
The St Matthew Prayer follows a simple structure, usually consisting of three main sections. First, it opens with salutations to St. Matthew and recognition of his stature. For example, “Hail, St. Matthew, chosen by the Holy Spirit as one of the twelve Apostles.”
Second, the middle section elaborates on St. Matthew’s virtues and merits through vivid imagery. For instance, “Thou didst hear the call of the divine Master, Who said to thee, ‘Come, follow Me.’” This section praises St. Matthew’s willingness to follow Christ immediately and spread His Gospel to the nations.
Finally, the prayer concludes by asking for St. Matthew’s intercession on our behalf. For example, “Obtain for us, thy devout clients, the forgiveness of our sins and the grace to live an evangelical life, carefully avoiding every occasion of sin.” Overall, the prayer follows a natural progression from praising St. Matthew to requesting his heavenly aid.
Other key components of the St Matthew Prayer include:
– Reference to St. Matthew’s beginnings like his occupation as a tax collector
– Mention of his divinely inspired Gospel and writings
– Requests for St. Matthew to bless us and guide us closer to Christ
– Petitions to live as faithful disciples like St. Matthew himself
What are the themes and main ideas in the St Matthew Prayer?
There are several overarching themes and ideas found in the text of the St Matthew Prayer:
**Discipleship** – The prayer emphasizes St. Matthew’s calling by Jesus and his immediate abandonment of his old life to follow Christ. It highlights his faithfulness as one of the twelve apostles who walked closely with the Lord on earth.
**Spreading the Gospel** – The prayer recognizes St. Matthew’s vital role in spreading the good news of Christ far and wide through his Gospel account in the New Testament. It asks for missionary zeal to share the Gospel as St. Matthew did.
**Blessings from God** – Various lines speak of the gifts and graces God bestowed on St. Matthew, such as wisdom, eloquence, and inspiring writing. The prayer acknowledges all blessings flow from the Lord.
**Intercession** – Sections plead for St. Matthew’s intercession from heaven that we may grow in holiness and as followers of Christ. The prayer seeks his heavenly guidance and aid.
**Virtues of a True Disciple** – The prayer highlights virtues aligned with discipleship like self-denial, zeal, gratitude to God, avoidance of sin, and evangelization. It petitions to grow in these virtues.
**Closeness to Christ** – Overall, the St Matthew Prayer reflects a desire to draw nearer to Jesus Christ through the example and intercession of the faithful apostle St. Matthew.
What are some key Bible verses related to the St Matthew Prayer?
The St Matthew Prayer beautifully references and echoes several Bible passages connected to the life and ministry of St. Matthew:
**Matthew 9:9** – “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.”
**Matthew 28:19** – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
**Luke 5:27-28** – “After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.”
**Acts 1:21-22** – “Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us.”
**Matthew 10:7-8** – “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
These verses help illuminate St. Matthew’s calling by Jesus, his selection as an apostle, his Gospel writings, and his charge to make disciples and proclaim the good news. Praying the St Matthew Prayer with these Bible passages in mind enriches its meaning and connects it to Scriptural truths.
How can the St Matthew Prayer be incorporated into daily spiritual practice?
This meaningful prayer can easily be incorporated into personal daily prayer life in various ways:
– Pray the St Matthew Prayer in the morning to consecrate the day to God through St. Matthew’s intercession.
– Include the St Matthew Prayer before reading Scripture, especially the Gospel of Matthew. Ask for insights as you read the Word of God.
– Recite the prayer slowly and meditatively to reflect more deeply on St. Matthew’s qualities and spiritual wisdom.
– Pray the St Matthew Prayer before sharing your faith with others or evangelizing. Ask St. Matthew to guide your words and actions.
– Use the prayer as part of an examination of conscience to reflect on times you failed to live as a disciple like St. Matthew.
– Add it to your routine prayers before bedtime and ask St. Matthew to watch over you.
– Pray the prayer on the Feast of St. Matthew for special blessings and graces.
– Place a picture of St. Matthew in your room and pray the prayer when you pass by.
Regularly praying this intercessory prayer can enrich our spiritual life with St. Matthew as an inspiring example and heavenly protector guiding us along the path of discipleship.
What are some tips for praying the St Matthew Prayer more meaningfully?
Here are some suggestions for praying the St Matthew Prayer in a more engaged, mindful way:
– Pray slowly and thoughtfully, focusing on each phrase.
– Take a few quiet moments at the start to enter into a spirit of reverence.
– Reflect on the Gospel stories about St. Matthew as you pray.
– Visualize yourself at key moments from St. Matthew’s life like his calling by Jesus.
– Consider your desire to grow closer to Christ through St. Matthew’s example.
– Listen for any words or lines that speak to you personally. Dialogue with God about them.
– Ask St. Matthew to reveal to you any ways you need to become a truer disciple of Christ.
– If praying for others, name and visualize each person you are lifting in prayer.
– Conclude by offering heartfelt gratitude to God and St. Matthew.
– Allow time after the “Amen” to sit quietly and let the prayer continue to resonate in your heart.
Meaningful prayer happens when we bring focus, intentionality, and openness to God’s presence and message. Taking time to pray the St Matthew Prayer well can nurture depth in our relationship with this beloved apostle and with Christ Himself.
What are common interpretations or analyses of the St Matthew Prayer?
There are some common analyses of the symbolism and significance found within the text of the St Matthew Prayer:
– It reveals the high esteem that St. Matthew holds in the eyes of the Church through its venerating language.
– The detailed descriptions of St. Matthew highlight his righteousness and how fully he embodied the call to discipleship.
– It emphasizes God’s grace and blessings that allowed a simple tax collector to become a saintly apostle.
– The imagery and metaphors, like Christ calling St. Matthew from the “toils of the custom house,” add poetic beauty.
– The prayer models humility in seeking the intercession of a saint rather than directly from God.
– The qualities it upholds, like zeal, eloquence, and holiness, represent virtues to aspire to.
– St. Matthew’s immediate abandonment of his work to follow Christ sets an example for radical discipleship.
– The emphasis on spreading the Gospel mirrors Christ’s parting mission to make disciples of all nations.
– Its mention of St. Matthew’s writings reveals the importance of Scripture and evangelization.
– The prayer embodies certain Catholic devotional traditions like belief in intercessory prayer.
For scholars, theologians, and devotees of St. Matthew, the prayer offers rich insights into his life and spiritual legacy in the Church. It serves as a catechism on discipleship and evangelization as well.
How does praying the St Matthew Prayer enrich one’s relationship with God?
Praying the St Matthew Prayer can profoundly deepen one’s spiritual life and relationship with God in many ways:
– It reminds us of Gospel truths and stories, immersing us in sacred Scripture.
– The vivid imagery stimulates an experience of God’s presence and miraculous work.
– It cultivates devotion and connection to God through the communion of saints.
– The petitionary prayers humble our hearts to seek God’s grace and guidance.
– Reflecting on St. Matthew’s virtues inspires us to grow in Christian discipleship.
– By pleaded for his intercession, we exercise childlike trust in God’s power.
– The eloquent language lifts our minds and hearts to higher realms.
– In honoring St. Matthew, we also honor Christ and the fruits of his redeeming work.
– Seeking St. Matthew’s aid fosters reliance on God over self-sufficiency.
– Reciting this communal prayer joins our voices to the Church through the ages.
Living these aspects of the prayer leads us to know God more intimately and walk more readily in His presence. Over time, the words ingrain themselves on our hearts, continuing to nourish our spiritual lives between recitations. In the end, all deep prayer echoes Christ’s call – “Follow me” – drawing us ever closer to God.
How can I make a Catholic Pilgrimage to see Saint Matthew?
Going on pilgrimage to sites associated with saints provides a meaningful way to honor their holy lives and seek their intercessory prayers. For devotees of St. Matthew, planning a pilgrimage to sites connected to the apostle can enrich spiritual life and relationship with God. Here are some tips for making a Catholic pilgrimage to places where St. Matthew lived and served:
Research locations linked to St. Matthew like the Church of St. Matthew in Jerusalem near the traditional site of his martyrdom. The Basilica of St. Matthew in Salerno, Italy also houses relics of the saint and makes a worthy pilgrimage site. Other options are cathedrals or churches named for St. Matthew across Europe and beyond.
Look into pilgrimage tours offered through Catholic travel agencies. Joining a guided tour can simplify logistics while providing spiritual nourishment. You also journey alongside fellow devotees.
If visiting independently, book accommodations and transportation in advance. Try to stay at hotels, hostels or guesthouses run by religious orders when possible for added spirituality.
Prepare by studying accounts of St. Matthew’s life and praying novenas or the St Matthew Prayer in the months beforehand. Spiritual readiness amplifies the graces awaiting.
Bring along holy reminders of St. Matthew like a printed image, prayer card, medal or book on his life. Have a pilgrimage diary to record graced moments and spiritual insights.
Participate in liturgies, prayer services or other celebrations in honor of St. Matthew at the pilgrimage sites. Let your devotion come alive!
With prayerful planning, a pilgrimage following in the footsteps of St. Matthew promises moving experiences of grace and growth in the spiritual life.
Making travel arrangements to see St Matthew
Once you have decided on the destinations for your pilgrimage to see St. Matthew, it’s time to make the necessary travel plans. Here are some tips:
– Book flights, trains or other transportation well in advance to get the best fares and availability. Be sure to connect all destinations if traveling to multiple pilgrimage sites.
– For overseas trips, ensure you have any required travel visas and valid passports ahead of time.
– Reserve hotel rooms at each pilgrimage stop. Opt for modest accommodations endorsed by the local diocese or parish if possible.
– Arrange ground transportation like trains, buses, taxis or car rentals to get around within each location. Check routes and schedules.
– Joining a guided pilgrimage tour takes care of logistics but traveling independently allows more flexibility. Choose based on personal preferences.
– Get travel insurance in case last minute changes are needed. Also useful if any health issues arise on the trip.
– Have needed travel-sized toiletries, medications, and materials for your spiritual preparations packed and ready to go.
– Get phones unlocked for international use if needed and have backup charging options for devices.
With strategic travel arrangements in place ahead of time, your pilgrimage can stay focused on spiritual nourishment and following in the footsteps of St. Matthew versus logistical headaches.
I’ve gone everywhere. Among the nations I’ve been to are America, Scotland, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, The Vatican, Switzerland, France, Milan, and all of Israel. I’ll be traveling to Turkey very soon.
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- Find cheap flights for your journey HERE
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Time to pack your bags! 🙂
How can praying the St Matthew Prayer help to make me a saint?
Seeking sainthood may seem like a lofty goal. However, regularly praying the St Matthew Prayer can be a stepping stone on the journey toward becoming a saint. Here’s how:
– The prayer’s petition to live an evangelical life directs our focus toward virtuous actions in service to others. This imitates the saints.
– St. Matthew provides a relatable model as a convert who abandoned worldly ways. His example inspires hope we too can become saints.
– Asking for St. Matthew’s guidance and intercession unites us more closely with the communion of saints who lift us higher.
– The beautiful language elevates our minds and helps us Grow in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.
– Reflecting on the prayer frequently will plant its petitions more deeply in our hearts, bearing fruit through our choices.
– Reciting this prayer of the Church connects us to the mystical Body of Christ across time, uniting us in holiness.
– It reminds us of our true purpose in life – to know, love and serve God, becoming the saints He intends us to be.
While only through God’s grace can we hope to be saints, praying the St Matthew Prayer plants the seed that the Holy Spirit can nurture into blossoming sanctity.
Do the lessons we’ve learned from the St Matthew Prayer inspire or motivate you? Saint biographies make for engaging reading and conversation. It is very likely that it will generate spiritual fruit in our lives.
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These motivating tales can even convince them to accompany you to church. Even better, you might be able to share the Gospel with them. Are you familiar with the Gospel message? Everyone has committed sin and falls short of God’s glory, according to Romans 3:23. Therefore, the need for a Savior is universal.
God provided a way for us to be forgiven by sending His one and only Son to fulfill the requirements of the law. Rom. 4:15-16
To provide the ultimate atonement for our sins, Jesus had to come to Earth, live a sinless life, and die. The Bible puts it this way…
“Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
– Hebrews 9:22
The story did not finish with Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial. No, He rose from the dead! He promises to bring us back to life once we die because He is alive. He defeated both sin and death. Hallelujah!
Invite your family, friends, and acquaintances to the RCIA program at the nearby Catholic church after sharing this crucial information with them.
Family members, friends, and acquaintances can join the Catholic Church and become eligible to receive the Holy Sacraments through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, or RCIA. By taking part in RCIA programs offered by their parish, students can learn everything they need to know about our magnificent Christian religion and our Compassionate Jesus.
This is the genuine method of saving a life. I’m making this wish for you.
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You can access a list of additional well-known saints from our website by clicking HERE.
Are you free to read about another saint now that you have read the St Matthew Prayer?
Why not look into:
- St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Top 11 Joyful Spirituality Aspects of Her Shining Light for Our Times
- ‘Prayer for Our Mother of Perpetual Help’ – 11 Top Tips to This Inspiring Prayer that Will Reignite Your Devotion
- “Prayer to St Jude for Financial Help”: Are Your Finances in Crisis? 11 Top Tops to Restore Your Hope
- ‘St Therese Prayer Novena’: 14 Top Tips – Unlock Saintly Guidance Through this Little Way Novena
Have you ever considered returning to this page each day to learn more about the Saint of the Day after reading about this St Matthew Prayer? If you’d like to receive my daily saint emails in your inbox, please take a moment to sign up. I’ll make it brief since I know you have a lot on your plate, but I’ll say more because I want you to take something away from me and constantly aspire to do better.
As a present from me to you, I’ll send you a FREE printable of Our Lady of Perpetual Help to display in your home or business. As soon as you submit the form, I’ll send you an email with a link to download it.
Well, that’s all for today.
I’ll see you back tomorrow with another Saint of the Day to inspire you!
God bless you,