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The Apostles as a group, forming one moral hierarchical body, not a body of equals, under St. Peter as their visible head (Matthew 10, 11, 16; Luke 22). After the death of Judas, in order to remain what Christ wanted them to be, a community of immediate witnesses of the Master, they immediately (even before Pentecost) elected Matthias "to take over this ministry and apostolate" (Acts 1:25).
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.