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Saint Matthew

Feast Day: September 21 
Born / Died : (around the time of Jesus)

Matthew was a tax collector in the city of Capernaum, where Jesus lived. He was a Jew who worked for the Romans. For this reason, his countrymen disliked him. They called him a "public sinner," as they felt he was betraying his own people.

But Jesus did not feel that way about Matthew. One day, Jesus saw Matthew sitting in his office and he said, "Follow me." At once, Matthew left his money and his position to follow Jesus.

Jesus seemed so holy and king-like that Matthew gave a big supper for Jesus. He invited other friends to meet Jesus and listen to him teach.

Some people found fault with Jesus for sharing a meal with those whom they considered sinners. However, Jesus had a ready answer. "They who are well do not need a 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. He remained there for some time to preach about the Lord.

We are familiar with the Gospel of Matthew, which is the story of Jesus and what he taught. St. Matthew presents Jesus to his own people. The Lord is the Messiah whom the prophets had said would come to save us.

After preaching the Gospel to many people, St. Matthew finally gave his life as a glorious martyr for the faith.

Saint Mark

Feast Day: April 25 
Died: 68 AD

Mark lived at the time of Jesus. Although he was not one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, he was a cousin of St. Barnabas, an apostle. Mark is called an evangelist because he wrote one of the four Gospels. Mark's Gospel is short, but it gives many little details that are not in the other Gospels.

While still young, Mark went with the two great saints, Paul and Barnabas, as missionaries to bring the teachings of Jesus to Cyprus and other new lands. Before the journey was over, though, Mark had an argument with St. Paul and immediately returned to Jerusalem. Paul and Mark later made peace with each other. In fact, Paul wrote from prison in Rome that Mark came to cheer and help him.

Mark also became a beloved disciple and was like a son to St. Peter, the first pope. St. Mark was made a bishop and sent to Alexandria, Egypt. There many people who heard him preach became Christians. He worked hard to spread love for Jesus and his Church and founded the first famous Christian school in Alexandria.

He went through long and painful sufferings before he died a martyr for his faith. St. Mark's relics were brought to Venice, Italy. He is the patron saint of that famous city. People go to the beautiful basilica of St. Mark to honor him and to pray to him.

Reflection: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15)

Saint Luke

Feast Day: October 18 
Born:(around the time of Jesus)- Died:(some years after Jesus)

St. Luke was born in Antioch. He was a gentile doctor who was a good and kind man. He heard about Jesus from the great apostle Paul and soon became a Christian. The Bible calls Luke "the beloved physician."

After becoming a Christian, he went everywhere with St. Paul. Luke was a great help to him in spreading the faith in Greece and Rome. He was with Paul when he was shipwrecked and through other dangers as they traveled from place to place.

St. Luke wrote two books in the Bible: the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. Although he did not meet Jesus while he was on this earth, he wanted people to know and love Jesus like he did.

So he talked to people who knew Jesus. He wrote down all that they had seen Jesus do and heard Jesus say.

Saint Luke spent time with Mother Mary learning all he could about Jesus from her. From Mary he heard about how the angel Gabriel appeared to her at the Annunciation. He also heard all about the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt.

Luke also wrote the story of how the apostles began to teach and spread the good news after Jesus went back to heaven. It is in Luke's book, The Acts of the Apostles that we learn how the Church began to grow and spread.

St. Luke is the patron saint of doctors. We believe he died in Greece. He is one of the four evangelists, or Gospel writers.

Saint John

Feast Day: December 27 
Born :(around the time of Jesus) :: Died: (around 100)

St. John was born to Zebedee and Salome. He was a fisherman in Galilee and was called along with his brother St. James to be an apostle. Jesus gave these sons of Zebedee the nickname, "sons of thunder."

St. John was the youngest of the apostles and Jesus loved him dearly. At the Last Supper, John leaned his head on the chest of Jesus to comfort him.

John was also the only apostle who did not desert Jesus during his passion and stood at the foot of the cross. The dying Jesus asked John to care for his Blessed Mother, Mary.

Turning to Mary, he said to John, "Behold your mother." So the rest of her life on earth, the Blessed Mother lived with St. John. He alone had the great honor of assisting and caring for the all-pure Mother of God.

On Easter morning, Mary Magdalene and the other women went with spices to Jesus' tomb to anoint his body. They came running back to the apostles with exciting news. The body of Jesus was gone from the tomb.

Peter and John went to see if this was true. John arrived first but waited for Peter to go in ahead of him. Then he went in and saw the neatly folded linen cloths.

Later that same week, the disciples were fishing on the lake of Tiberias but did not catch any fish. A man standing on the beach asked them to let down their nets on the other side of the boat. When they pulled it up again it was full of large fish.

St. John, immediately knew this was Jesus, and called to Peter, "It is the Lord." With the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the apostles were filled with new courage and St. John and St. Peter were thrown into prison for preaching the good news without fear.

After the Ascension, John performed many miracles in the name of Jesus. Hearing him preach, hundreds of people were baptized and became followers of Jesus so St. John founded churches in Asia Minor for the people.

John lived for more than 100 years. He led a life of suffering, preached the Gospel, and became bishop of Ephesus. In the last years of his life, when he could no longer preach, his disciples would carry him to the crowds of Christians. His simple message was, "My dear children, love one another."

St. John died in Ephesus (modern Turkey) around the year 100. A church was built over his tomb and was later converted to a mosque.

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