Feast day fiesta at St. Matthew

RIPLEY – Members of St. Matthew Parish in Ripley celebrated their patron saint on Saturday, Sept. 22. The actual feast is celebrated worldwide on Sept. 21.
Matthew, the evangelist and apostle was a tax collector for the Romans. He coverted to Jesus and after the resurrection, Matthew preached for years in Judea and in nearby countries. San Mateo (in Spanish) is credited for being a patron of bankers and is represented with a book.
The celebration started with Mass, but included dancers from Tupelo St. James Parish who came to share a traditional Aztec drama- dance. “Los Matachines,” usually dance in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The dance represents the fight of good versus evil. At the end good is the winner.

(Katia Cruz contributed to this story)

RIPLEY – Above “Los Matachines,” dancers from Tupelo St James Parish. For more than ten years this group has offered traditional Aztec dance performances around Mississippi. With 40 members including young and adults, the group came to bring color and music to the celebration for the Feast Day of St. Matthew. (Photos courtesy of Madeline Hale)

In right photo: Father Jesuraj Xavier accepts the gifts from the dancers during the Mass. (l-r)Carriying flowers Sindy Vázquez and her mother, Rosario Gonzalez, Brithney, Yaire López and Alma Diaz, the last two are current leaders of the dancers.