Trier’s St. Matthias Church and abbey was built in 1127. When I discovered that apostle Matthias was buried there, I made sure this was our first stop in Trier so we would not run out of time or forget about it. The church itself is stunning, reminding me of Limburg’s church. There is a gift shop and a separate chapel that houses a reliquary (small decorated box, also known as a Staurotheke) that is said to contain a piece of Christ’s cross. Although I do not believe that it is truly a piece of the cross in the box since the cross was not “discovered” until Constantine’s mom “found” it over 200 years after Christ’s death and resurrection, I believe it is an old, cherished, important relic dating back over a thousand years.
I have been inside many cathedrals and old churches. I love the architecture and artifacts, mingling with other pilgrims. There have been a couple of these old churches that gave me goose bumps, and this is one of them. Just stepping in, there was an eerie, heavy feeling that I cannot fully describe. I got chills without entering the main part of the cathedral…there is an undeniable Presence there. I am glad that I went down into the crypt, housing the 3 tombs.
St. Matthias’ effigy was laying in the main sanctuary above his bones. Don’t remember him? Matthias and Barsabbas replaced Judas as a disciple. (Acts 1:21-26)
Back outside, we followed the path around the cemetery, which was shadowed by the cathedral so much that although it was bright and sunny outside, there was a layer of frost over the graveyard.
St. Matthias Abbey was an interesting experience, which was a great preface to touring Trier.