We read in Acts 1:15-16, post Ascension, Peter addressed the brothers, some 120 followers of Jesus. Peter reminded them of the scriptural recommendation that someone fill the office of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. All of the original twelve were chosen and called by Jesus, Himself. How then to find the anointed apostle in His absence?
Peter outlined specific criteria: that it be a man who walked with them from the time of Jesus’ baptism until His Ascension, someone who could testify to the resurrection, who loved Jesus when He was an unknown carpenter, and when He spoke of the cross and other teachings that caused His abandonment.
The group of followers nominated two men: Joseph Barsabbas and Matthias. Peter proposed that they pray and draw lots and by this manner, Matthias was selected to join the Eleven.
His name means “gift of God,” and although not mentioned by name anywhere else in the New Testament, Matthias is an example of one who remained faithful and accepted the responsibility offered him. He preached in Cappadocia, Jerusalem, along the shores of the Caspian Sea, and Ethiopia. Accounts differ as to the martyrdom of Saint Matthias; some indicate he died by stoning in Jerusalem, and others by crucifixion in Colchis.