Saint Matthias was, according to the Acts of the Apostles (written c. AD 80–90), chosen by the apostles to replace Judas Iscariot following the latter's betrayal of Jesus and his subsequent death. His calling as an apostle is unique, in that his appointment was not made personally by Jesus, who had already ascended into heaven, and it was also made before the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the early Church. He is holding an axe in his right hand, the weapon used in his death as a martyr by decapitation.

Original drawing by Ludolph Büsinck, 17th century.

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