+ What little we know of Saint Bartholomew comes to us from the Gospel of John and he is commonly identified with Nathaniel (1:45-51), a “man without guile” from Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle.
+ According to tradition, following Pentecost, Bartholomew preached the Gospel in India and in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). According to the Church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, Saint Pantaenus traveled to India in the third century and found a small group of believers and was shown a Hebrew copy of the Gospel of Matthew that was said to have been left there by Bartholomew.
+ Ancient tradition also tells us that Bartholomew was martyred in Armenia by being flayed alive and his supposed relics are kept in the Church of Saint Bartholomew on an island in the Tiber River in Rome.
+ Saint Bartholomew is honored as the patron saint of Armenia and of those suffering from neurological diseases. Because of the horrific way in which he died, he also remembered as the leather workers, book binders, and is invoked by those suffering from skin diseases.
“It was clear through unlearned men that the cross was persuasive, in fact, it persuaded the whole world. Their discourse was not of unimportant matters but of God and true religion, of the Gospel way of life and future judgment, yet it turned plain, uneducated men into philosophers. How the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and his weakness stronger than men!.”—Saint John Chrysostom
On this day we also remember Blessed Veronica Antal. A young woman who lived near the village of Halaucesti, Romania, she felt drawn to religious life, but all religious communities had been outlawed by the Communist government. Veronica walked five miles to Mass each day and spent her time caring for the sick and poor and teaching catechism to children. On August 24, 1958, she stayed after Mass to clean the church and to spend time prayer. She was attacked by a would-be rapist as she made her way home. When she refused her attacker’s advances, he stabbed her to death, leaving her mutilated body in a field. Honored as a “martyr of charity,” she was beatified in 2018, becoming the first Romanian woman to be honored as “Blessed.”
Strengthen in us, O Lord, the faith,
by which the blessed Apostle Bartholomew
clung wholeheartedly to your Son,
and grant that through the help of his prayers
your Church may become for all the nations
the sacrament of salvation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.