Abune Mathias was born Aba Teklemariam Asrat in 1934 Ethiopian calendar (1940/41 European calendar) in Tigray region, Agame awraja, Sebuha wereda.
He attained basic literacy in the traditional schooling service of the church under Kesis Weldegerima.
He was ordained as deacon in 1948 (1954/55 European calendar) by Abune Markos, the then Archbishop of Eritrea province.
Following that, he started serving in several capacities at the Chohé monastery, Tenben awraja, Tigray region, where he stayed for most of the subsequent 14 years.
In 1955 (1962/63), he was ordained as a Monk .He served in the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa, from 1964-68(1971/72 to 75/76) assuming various roles. Subsequently, he served for three years as a close aide (referred to as “Abune kesis” and especial secretary) to Patriarch Abune Teklehailmanot.
Abune Mathias was ordained as Episkopos in 1971 (1978/79). Currently, Abune Mathias is Archbishop of the Church’s monastery in Jerusalem. Abune Mathias became the 6th Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the election held on 28th of February 2013 where he received 500 of the 806 the votes cast by an electoral college representing various sections of the Church.
The rest of the votes were distributed to the other four fathers competing for the post. According to official results, Abune Elsaé, Abune Yosef, Abune Matheos and Abune Hizkel received 39, 98, 98 and 70 votes, respectively.
Abune Mathias will be enthroned as Patriarch this weekend, on March 3, 2013, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, in Addis Ababa.