ST. MATTHIAS

Real Name: Matthias

Identity/Class: Human (1st century or so)

Occupation: Saint;
    former apostle

Group Membership: The Twelve Apostles

Affiliations: Jesus Christ, the Twelve Apostles

Enemies: None

Known Relatives: None (see comments)

Aliases: Matthias the Apostle, Tolmai

Base of Operations: Jerusalem

First Appearance: Acts of the Apostles in the Hebrew Bible (possibly written around 70-90 AD);
    (in a Marvel Comic) Spirits of Vengeance I#3 (February, 2018)

Powers/Abilities: St. Matthias did not exactly display any superhuman powers but following a vision experienced when he touched Judas Iscariot's cursed silver, he had an uncanny sense of the mystical power of the silver. Whether this sense was a true superhuman ability or merely a feeling gathered after experiencing a vision of the silver's true nature remains unrevealed.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'7")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 145 lbs.)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Dark brown

History:
(Acts of the Apostles 1:21-22) - Matthias was an early follower of Jesus Christ during his Earthly ministry who was active among Jesus' Apostles but was not one of the twelve who were Jesus' closest companions.

(Spirits of Vengeance I#3 (fb)) - Matthias happened upon Judas Iscariot, who had hung himself after being ravaged by anger, confusion and guilt following his betrayal of Jesus Christ. Finding Judas' cursed silver scattered out on the ground, Matthias went to gather up the silver but the moment he touched the silver, Matthias experienced a vision of how Judas' own malevolence itself had bonded with the silver and Matthias determined that the coins were pure evil and powerful in a way that Matthias did not fully understand. Realizing the cursed silver was essentially blood money, Matthias felt the silver should be as buried as Judas himself.

(Acts of the Apostles 1:12-26) - Following the suicide of Judas Iscariot and ascension of Jesus, the remaining eleven of the Twelve Apostles cast lots to determine who should replace Judas in their ranks. The lots fell to Matthias so they added him to the Twelve.

(Spirits of Vengeance I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Matthias eventually wrote a Gospel (see comments) suggesting the power of Judas' cursed silver and why it had been hidden. Eventually, Matthias was made a saint and he left a cryptic warning at Judas Iscariot's burial site, by then dubbed Akeldama, about the silver. Over the subsequent centuries, the Gospel of Matthias was thought lost from the Biblical New Testament apocrypha. In 1872 AD, a monastery was built in Akeldama and during construction of the monastery, Judas' burial site was unearthed and St. Matthias' warning was found. Being religious men, the monks heeded St. Matthias' warning and Judas' silver was sealed away under guard. Decades later, in the modern era, the sorcerer Necrodamus spent hundreds of hours studying ancient Hebrew scrolls in ancient crypts and pieced together the Gospel of Matthias by stringing together bits of legend and questionable apocrypha. Upon reading the acquired parts of the Gospel of Matthias, Necrodamus learned the location of Judas' cursed silver and paid a guard to acquire the silver for him with the help of his agent, Razan the Night Jackal.

Comments: Adapted into Marvel Comics by Victor Gischler and David Baldeon.

    BIG THANKS to Prime Eternal for providing Biblical information on Matthias!!

    Matthias is somewhat notorious for his anonymity. His election to the Twelve Apostles at the beginning of Acts is seemingly a significant event yet he's never mentioned anywhere else in Acts nor the rest of the Bible. For that reason, there have been many theories advanced over the years where he's been linked to other more famous figures such as the suggestion that he's actually Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10).

    The Encyclopedia of Saints recounts an "irregular legend tradition" that fills in his backstory (it appears to be from James of Voragnine's Legenda Aurea). Supposedly, Matthais was the son of two royal figures, Ruben and Cyborea. Pontius Pilate forced Matthias to kill both his father and his brother. Matthias then married his mother. Eventually, he repented from these actions and followed Jesus. As others have noted, this version of Matthias' life makes him into an Oedipus figure. What everyone agrees on is that Matthias was a martyr but, again, he remains a murky figure so accounts of his martyrdom vary. He might've been crucified in Judaea or died in Ethiopia, and heck, just how many followers in the 1st century were named Matthias? Probably more than one! That wouldn't help biographers much.

    Matthias is the patron saint of builders, blacksmiths, tailors, butchers, confectioners and of boys who are beginning school. He's also invoked against whooping cough, smallpox and infertility in marriage.

    The Encyclopedia of Saints also recounts various superstitions accorded to Matthias over the centuries. Apparently, if you scoop up water on the night before his feast day, it will turn into wine. One story claims Matthias' drink was poisoned by pagans but he was unaffected by the toxin. He's also a popular source for invoking oracles because he was elected to the Twelve Apostles by casting lots.

    There was also a Gospel of Matthias, a text which is now lost. We only know about it through references from the 2nd and 3rd centuries which refer to it as a work of heresy. --Prime Eternal
   
Which makes sense in terms of his Gospel as mentioned in his comic book appearance in Spirits of Vengeance I#3. --Proto-Man

    The accounts of Judas' death in the Gospel of Matthew and the Acts of the Apostles (written by Luke, author of the Gospel under his own name) differ as to how Judas died. Matthew's account, which is earlier than Luke's, states Judas returned the money and killed himself then the chief priests bought the land where he died. However, the Acts of the Apostles subsequently claimed Judas used the silver coins to buy the plot of land then "fell headlong" and his "body burst open and all his intestines spilled out." The history as covered below (in the Akeldama subprofile) is how theologians have harmonized the two accounts. It's believed that Judas did hang himself at what became Akeldama and that when his body fell from where it had been hung, it burst open on the ground. It's an elegant solution, proving Marvel continuity fans are the stepchildren of theologians! --Prime Eternal
   
Additionally, the subprofile text for Akeldama below is also very slightly different from the various accounts in order to account for what we know of the Marvel Comics version of Akeldama seen in Spirits of Vengeance I#3. --Proto-Man

Profile by Proto-Man and Prime Eternal.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Matthias
should be distinguished from:


Akeldama

Akeldama is a potter's field region of Jerusalem, originally unnamed. Having betrayed his master Jesus Christ to the chief priests of the Temple in Jerusalem for thirty pieces of silver, Judas repented of his actions and threw the money back at the chief priests. He then went out to a field and hung himself there. Matthias soon stumbled upon the hanging body of Judas and the scattered silver pieces on the ground but when he touched the silver, Matthias experienced a vision showing Judas' own malevolence bonding with the silver. When Judas' body fell from where it had hung, it burst open on the field and his intestines spilled out. As word of this spread, the field became notorious around Jerusalem. After Judas had hung himself, the chief priests of the Temple in Jerusalem used the thirty pieces of silver to purchase the plot of land on which Judas had died despite Matthias feeling as if the cursed silver should be as buried as Judas himself, but the priests were unwilling to retain the "blood money" they had paid him. Because of Judas' death there, it became known as "Akeldama," translated into English as "the Field of Blood." Eventually, after Matthias became one of the Twelve Apostles and later a saint, he arranged for the thirty pieces of cursed silver to be placed at Judas' burial site at Akeldama with a warning about the cursed silver.

Around the 6th century, Akeldama was used as a burial ground for deceased pilgrims who had come to see Jerusalem. In 1892 AD, a monastery was built at Akeldama and during its construction, the monks uncovered Judas' burial site and the warning from St. Matthias about Judas' silver. Heeding Matthias' warning, the monks locked up the silver and arranged for the silver to be guarded for decades at Akeldama until the modern era, when the sorcerer Necrodamus sent his agent Razan to acquire the silver.


--Matthew 27:3-5 (Spirits of Vengeance I#3 (fb), Acts of the Apostles 1:18-19, Matthew 27: 6-10, Spirits of Vengeance I#3 (fb),

images: (without ads)
Spirits of Vengeance I#3, p2, pan1 (Matthias, main image)
Spirits of Vengeance I#3, p2, pan2 (Matthias, headshot)
Spirits of Vengeance I#3, p3, pan7 (Akeldama)


Appearances:
Spirits of Vengeance I#3 (February, 2018) - Victor Gischler (writer), David Baldeon (art), Chris Robinson (editor)


First posted: 11/19/2022
Last updated: 11/19/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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