Apostle and Martyr
What is known for certain about Saint Bartholomew can be found in the Scriptures. He is one of the 12 apostles. His name (Bartholomaios) is a patronymic, meaning "son of Talmai" which also means he may have had another name. Scholars believe he is the same person as Nathaniel mentioned in John, who says he is from Cana and that Jesus called him an "Israelite . . . incapable of deceit."
The surprised Bartholomew asked, "How do you know me?" And Jesus answered, "Before Philip called you, I saw you sitting under a fig tree." Bartholomew's earlier skepticism disappeared. He said to Jesus, "Teacher, you are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel." To this Jesus responded: "Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these." And he did. But Jesus continued, "Truly, truly, I tell you, you will see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." Bartholomew lived to see the Resurrection.
He may have written a gospel, now lost; it is mentioned in other writings of the time. May have preached in Asia Minor, Ethiopia, India and Armenia; some one did, leaving early writings behind, and local tradition says it was him. Martyr.
His feast day is August 24.
Prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, who gave to your apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach your Word: Grant that your Church may love what he believed and preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
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