|Saint Matthias, Apostle
St. Matthias is the disciple who was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot, according to Acts 1:12-26 (cached). Almost half of his entry in the Golden Legend is actually about the man he replaced, and Caxton's translation reduces what is left to a few short paragraphs.
According to the legend, St. Matthias was assigned to preach in Judea. He was tried before the High Priest and condemned to be stoned to death. When this method miraculously failed, St. Matthias was killed with an axe. Voragine (but not Caxton) reports a second legend in which St. Matthias preached in Macedonia and miraculously survived a poisoning. In two much earlier works the episode of the poisoning is said to have occurred in "the country of the man-eaters."
Images from the modern era sometimes show St. Matthias with an axe or spear, and often with a book or (especially in Greek icons) a scroll. He also holds a scroll in the image at left, a detail from the upper right corner of Duccio di Buoninsegna's Maesta. In a very early fresco in Rome he holds a model of a church.
Feast day: February 24
Orley's painting of St. Matthias before the High PriestAlso see:
Golden Legend (Caxton's shortened version of Matthew's legend): html or pdf
The apocryphal Acts of Andrew and Matthias (cached)
The apocryphal Acts of Peter and Andrew (cached)