Saint of the Day – 24 August – St Bartholomew the Apostle and Martyr

Saint of the Day – 24 August – St Bartholomew the Apostle and Martyr. Saint Bartholomew, whose name appears only in the lists of the Apostles, is believed to be Nathanael, whom Philip brought to Christ. He preached in Persia and Egypt and was flayed alive in Armenia. His relics are believed to be in the Church of Saint Bartholomew in Rome.

Saint Bartholomew Apostle and Martyr
Excerpt from The Liturgical Year
By Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)

A witness of the Son of God, one of the princes who announced His glory to the nations, lights up this day with his apostolic flame.

Personally, who was this Apostle who borrowed such solemnity from the scene of his apostolic labours? Under the name or surname of Bartholomew (“Son of Tholmai“), the only mark of recognition given him, by the first three Gospels, do we see, as many have thought that Nathaniel, whose presentation to Jesus by Philip forms so sweet a scene in St John’s Gospel (1: 45-51)?
A man of uprightness, innocence and simplicity, … for whom, the Man-God had choice graces and caresses from the very beginning.

Be this as it may, the lot which fell to our Saint among the Twelve, points to the special confidence of the Divine Heart. The heroism of the terrible Martyrdom which sealed his apostolate, reveals his fidelity. The dignity preserved by the nation he grafted onto Christ, in all the countries where it has been transplanted, witnesses to the excellence of the sap first infused into its branches. When, two centuries and a half later, St Gregory the Illuminator, so successfully cultivated the soil of Armenia, he did but quicken the seed sown by the Apostle, which the trials never wanting to that generous land, had retarded for a time but could not stifle. …

We learn from Eusebius and from St Jerome that before going to Armenia, his final destination, St Bartholomew evangelised the Indies, where Pantaenus a century later found a copy of St Matthew’s Gospel in Hebrew characters, left there by him. …

The City of Rome used to celebrate the Feast of St Bartholomew on the following day, as do also the Greeks who commemorate on 25 August – a translation of the Apostle’s relics. It is owing, in fact, to the various translations of his holy body and to the difficulty of ascertaining the date of his Martyrdom that different days have been adopted for his Feast ,by different Churches, both in the east and in the west. The 24th of this month, consecrated by the use of most of the Latin Churches, is the day assigned in the most ancient Martyrologies, including that of St Jerome. In the 13th Century, Pope Innocent III, having been consulted as to the divergence, answered that local custom was to be observed.

The Church gives just the following Lessons for the life of the Apostle of Armenia:

The Holy Apostle Bartholomew was a native of Galilee. It fell to his lot to preach the Gospel in western India;and he announced to those nations the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of St Matthew. But after converting many souls to Jesus Christ in that Province and, undergoing much labour and suffering, he went into eastern Armenia.

Here he converted to the Christian Faith, the King Polymius and his Queen, as well as twelve Cities. This caused the pagan priests of that nation to be exceedingly jealous of him and they stirred up Astyages, the brother of King Polymius against the Apostle, so that he commanded him to be flayed alive and finally beheaded. In this cruel Martyrdom he gave up his soul to God.

His body was buried at Albanapolis, the town of eastern Armenia where he was Martyred but it was afterwards taken to the island of Lispari and thence to Beneventum. Finally it was translated to Rome by the Emperor Otto III and placed on the island of the Tiber, in a Church dedicated to God under his invocation.

On this day of thy Feast, O holy Apostle, the Church (in the Collect of the Mass) prays for grace to love what thou didst believe and to preach what thou didst teach. Not that the Bride of the Son of God, could ever fail, either in faith or in love but She knows, only too well that, although Her Head is ever in the light and Her heart ever united to the Spouse, in the Holy Ghost Who sanctifies Her, nevertheless ,Her members and particular Churches may detach themselves from their centre of life and wander away in darkness. O thou who didst choose the west as the place of thy rest, thou in whose precious relics Rome glories in possessing, bring back to St Peter, the nations thou didst evangelise, that we may together, enjoy the treasures of our concordant traditions and go to God, even at the cost of being despoiled of all things, by the course so grand and yet so simple, taught us by thy example and by thy sublime theology. Amen.


Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and bless you 🙏

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