Saint Bartholomew, Apostle and Martyr
August 24 is the feast of Saint Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles who is mentioned only a few times in the Synoptic Gospels. While Matthew, Mark, and Luke all include Bartholomew as an apostle, John’s gospel does not mention him, but refers to a Nathaniel, whom ancient writers and Catholic tradition have identified as Bartholomew. The name (Bartholomaios) means “son of Talmai”, which was an ancient Hebrew name.
Saint Bartholomew carried the Gospel through the most barbarous countries of the East (India and greater Armenia), baptizing neophytes and casting out demons. Saint Pantænus testified that Bartholomew brought a copy of the Gospel of Saint Matthew to this vast region in the third century. Saint John Chrysostom said that Bartholomew also preached in Asia Minor and, with Saint Philip, suffered there for the faith. His last mission was in Armenia, where he was martyred. The manner of his death is uncertain. Some report that he was beheaded, while others recount that he was flayed alive and crucified, head downward.
According to tradition, the relics of Saint Bartholomew made their way from Armenia to the Isle of Lipari (near Sicily) in the seventh century. From there, they were moved to Benevento, in Campania, northeast of Naples, in 809, and finally came to rest in 983 in the Church of Saint Bartholomew-in-the-Island, on the Isle of Tiber in Rome.
Saint Bartholomew is the patron saint of: bookbinders, butchers, furriers, leather-workers, plasterers, shoemakers, tailors, tanners, vine-growers, Florentine salt and cheese merchants. He is also invoked against nervous disorders and tics.
sustain within us the faith
which made Saint Bartholomew ever loyal to Christ.
Let your Church be the sign of salvation
for all the nations of the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.