Not much is known about Saint Bartholomew the Apostle. The name “Bartholomew” means “son of Talmai” or “son of the furrows”. Saint Bartholomew is one of Jesus’s twelve apostles as mentioned in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) and in the book of Acts from the bible. Jesus spoke of Saint Bartholomew saying “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him” (John 1:47). When he asked Jesus how he knew him, Jesus replied saying, “I saw you under the fig tree” (John 1:48). To this, Bartholomew answered, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel” (John 1:49). Hearing this, Jesus said “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this” (John 1:50). Bartholomew did indeed “see greater things”. He was one of those Jesus to appeared on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias after Jesus’s resurrection (John 21:1-14). He was also a witness to Jesus’s ascension (Acts 1:4, 12, 13). Afterward, it is said that Saint Bartholomew went on a mission to preach in India and then, with the apostle Jude (Thaddeus), preached in and brought Christianity to Armenia. There are three different accounts of Saint Bartholomew’s death in Armenia: The first one speaks of him being beaten unconscious, then being tossed into a sea and drowning, the second one states that he was crucified upside down, and the third saying that he was skinned alive and beheaded, in which all three versions the saint became a an honorable martyr. Saint Bartholomew’s martyrdom is commemorated on September 11th and his feast day is August 24th. He is known as the patron of plasterers.
O Jesus, Saint Bartholomew's greatest desire was to know the truth. When first informed about You, his initial reaction was, "How can anything good come from Nazareth?" But as soon as he met You, he wanted to become one of Your disciples. You said of him, "Here is a man in whom there is no deception." I ask him to pray against the deceptions that are influencing me and the people I know. Help us to experience Your affirmation when we are honest, give us courage to resist lying as a means of self-protection, and inspire our minds to recognize the truth when we hear it. Saint Bartholomew, pray for us. Amen.