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MATHEW


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MATHEW


(1) MathathiaS (B.QafiaBia, A. MnffeoWas), one of the sons of Nebo who married an aUen wife (I Esd., x, 41) and later repudiated her; he is called Mazitias in III Esd., ix, 35.

(2) MathathiaS (Sept. Mardaeiai), one of the six who stood at the right of Esdras while he read the law to the people (II E.sd., viii, 4).

(3) MathathiaS (Sept. Marflaflios), a Levite of Corite stock and eldest son of Sellum; he had charge of the frying of cakes for the temple-worsliip (I Par., ix, 31).

(4) MathathiaS (Sept. MaTraWas), a Levite, one of Asaph's musicians before the ark (I Par., xvi, 5).

(5) M.A.THATHIAS (I Par., XV, IS, 21; xxv, 3, 21; Heb. irrrinD; a. MaTraeias in first three, MarWas in last; B. IfifiaTaBla. in first, MerraSfas in second, MaTTaSms in last two), a Levite of the sons of Idithun, one of the musicians who played and simg before the ark on its entrance into Jerusalem, later the leader of the fourteenth group of musicians of King David.

(6) MathathiaS (I Mach., ii passim; xiv, 29; Sept. MarraSias), the father of the five Machabees (see art. s. v.) who fought with tiie Seleucids for Jewish liberty.

(7) M.\thathias (I Mach., xi, 70), the son of Absa- lom and a captain in the army of Jonathan the Macha- bee; together with Judas the son of Calphi, he alone stood firm by Jonathan's side till the tide of battle turned in the plain of Asor.

(8) MathathiaS (I Mach., xvi, 14), a son of Simon the high priest ; he and his father and brother Judas were murdered by Ptolemee, the son of Abobus, at Doch.

(9 and 10) MathathiaS (MarflaSfas), two ancestors of Jesus (Luke, iii, 25, 26). Walter Drum.

Mathew, Theobald, Apostle of Temperance, b. at Thomastown Castle, near Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland, 10 Oct., 1790; d. at Queenstown, Cork, 8 Dec, 1856. His father was James Mathew, a gentleman of good family; his mother was Anne, daughter of George Whyte of Cappaghwhyte. At twelve he was sent to St. Canice's Academy, Kilkenny. There he spent nearly seven years, during which time he became acquainted with two Capuchin Fathers, who seem to have influenced him deeply. In September, 1807, he went to Maynooth College, and in the following year joined the Capuchin Order in Dublin. Having made his profession and completed his studies, he was or- dained priest by Archbishop Murray of Dublin on Easter Sunday, 1814. His first mission was in Kil- kenny, where he spent twelve months. He was then transferred to Cork, where he spent twenty-four years before beginning his great crusade against intemper- ance. During these years he ministered in the "Little Friary ", and organized schools, industrial classes, and benefit societies at a time when there was no recog- nized system of Catholic education in Ireland. He also founded a good library, and was foremost in every good work for the welfare of the people. In 1830 he took a long lease of the Botanic Gardens as a cemetery for the poor. Thousands, who died in the terrible cholera of 1832, owed their last resting-place as well as relief and consolation in their dying hours to Father Mathew. In 1828 he was appointed Provincial of the Capuchin Order in Ireland— a position which he held for twenty-three years.

In 1838 came the crisis of his life. Drunkenness had become widespread, and was the curse of all classes in Ireland. Temperance efforts had failed to cope with the evil, and after much anxious thought and prayer, and in response to repeated appeals from William Martin, a Quaker, Father Mathew decided to inaugu- rate a total abstinence movement. On 10 April, 1838, the first meeting of the Cork Total Abstinence Society was held in his own schoolhouse. He presided, de- livered a modest address, and took the pledge himself. Then with the historic words, "Here goes in the Name


of God ", he entered his signature in a large book lying on the table. About sixty followed his example that night and signed the book. Meetings were held twice a week, in the evenings and after Mass on Sundays. The crowds soon became so great that the schoolhouse had to be abandoned, and the Horse Bazaar, a Ijuild- ing capable of holding 4000, became the future meet- ing-place. Here, night after night. Father Mathew addressed crowded assemblies. In three months he had enrolled 25,000 in Cork alone; in five months the number had increased to 130,000. The movement now assumed a new phase. Father Mathew decided to go forth and preach his crusade throughout the land. In Dec, 1839, he went to Limerick and met with an extraordinary triumph. Thousands came in from the adjoining counties and from Connaught. In four days he gave the pledge to 150,- 000. In the same month he went to Waterford, where in three days he enrolled 80,000. In March, 1840, he enrolled 70,000 in Dublin. In May- nooth College he reaped a great har- vest, winning over 8 professors and 250 students, whilst in May- nooth itself, and the neighbour- hood, he gained 36,000 adherents. In January, 1841, he went to Kells, and in two days and a half enrolled 100,000. Thus in a few years he travelled through the whole of Ireland, and in Feb- ruary, '843, was able to write to a friend in America: " I have now, with the Divine Assistance, hoisted the Ijanner of Temperance in almost every parish in Ire- land."

He did not confine himself to the preaching of tem- perance alone. He spoke of the other virtues also, denounced crime of every kind, and secret societies of every description. Crime diminished as his movement spread, and neither crime nor secret societies ever flourished where total abstinence had taken root. He was of an eminently practical, as well as of a spir- itual turn of mind. Thackeray, who met him in Clork in 1842, wrote of him thus: "Avoiding all political questions, no man seems more eager than he for the practical improvement of this country. Leases and rents, farming improvements, reading societies, music societies — he was full of these, and of his schemes of temperance above all." Such glorious success having attended his efforts at home, he now felt himself free to answer the earnest invitations of his fellow-country- men in Great Britain. On 13 August, 1842, he reached Glasgow, where many thousands joined the move- ment. In July, 1843, he arrived in England and opened his memoralile campaign in Liverpool. From Liv('rpool he went to Manchester and Salford, and. having visited the chief towns of Lancashire;, he went on to Yorkshire, where he increased his recruits by 200,000. His next visit was to London where he en- rolled 74,000. During three months in England he gave the pledge to (iOO.OOO.

He then ret unicd to Cork where trials awaited him. In July, IM.'i, I lie first blight destroyed the potato crop, and in t lir Inllcwing winter there was bitter dis- tress. FatliiT Miithew was one of the first to warn the Government of the calamity which was impending. Famine with all its horrors reigned throughout the


Father Math