Venerable Matt Talbot was born in Dublin. His father worked on the docks, and struggled to support their family. Matt attended school for a few years, but soon began working as a messenger for liquor merchants. He began to drink excessively, and for 15 years, until he was almost 30, Matt was an active alcoholic.
One day, he decided to abstain from drinking for three months, make his confession, and begin attending daily Mass. The first seven years after making this life change were especially hard, and he turned to prayer to help him through. He also tried to make amends with people he had hurt while he was drinking.
Matt worked as a builder’s laborer, and joined the Secular Franciscan Order, living a life of strict penance. He dedicated himself to Scriptures and the rosary, and gave much of his earnings to missionary work.
After 1923, Matt was forced to quit working when his health failed. He died on his way to Mass on Trinity Sunday. He was given the title venerable by Pope Paul VI 50 years after his death.