Wednesday 24 August 2016

Saint Bartholomew, 24th August 2016

Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles  of Jesus. He has been identified with Nathaniel who appears in the Gospel of John as being introduced to Christ by Philip who would also become an apostle.  He was born at Cana in Galilee[4] and is listed among the Twelve Apostles of Jesus in the three Synoptic gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke; he appears as one of the witnesses of the Ascension; on each occasion however he is named in the company of Philip.

Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History and Saint Jerome attest that after the Ascension, Bartholomew went on a missionary tour to India, where he left behind a copy of the Gospel of Matthew.  
Popular tradition and legends say that Bartholomew preached the Gospel in India, and then went to Greater Armenia.  It is in Armenia that Bartholomew is said to have been martyred, traditionally by being flayed whilst still alive. He is often depicted with his flayed skin over his arm.  At the site of his martyrdom a prominent Armenian Monastery of Saint Bartholomew was built in what is now South East Turkey.

Bartholomew’s body was in the City of Dura-Europa thanks to a gift of the Emperor Anastasius in 507, while further relics were in Benevento, having been translated from Lipari as well as in Rome at the Basilica San Bartolomeo all’Isola.  Frankfurt Cathedral was given a part of his skull and Canterbury Cathedral an arm.

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