Saint Bartholomew


Saint Bartholomew
Born: 1st Century, Galilee
Died: 1st Century, Armenia
Feast Day: 24th August
Shrine:  Isle of Tiber, Rome, Italy
Patron Saint: Shoemakers, Cobblers, Butchers, Tanners, plasterers, Armenia, Twitching
Symbols in Art: flayed skin, knife

Not much is known about Saint Bartholomew’s early life except he was from Cana in Galilee.  He was known as Nathanael who Philip introduces to Jesus.  Jesus complemented Nathanael saying “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him” (John 1:47b). When Nathanael asked how Jesus knew him, Jesus said, “I saw you under the fig tree” (John 1:48b), this made Nathanael say, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel” (John 1:49b). But Jesus said with, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this” (John 1:50b).

After Jesus death and resurrection Bartholomew saw Jesus on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias after a long night fishing where they had caught nothing.  At this point they did not know it was Jesus, but he called to them telling them to cast their nets again.  The haul was so big they could not pull it on to the boat.

After the ascension, Bartholomew evangelised in India, Mesoptamia, Persia, Egypt, and Armenia.  Different traditions have his death either as beheading or having his skin removed and crucified upside down.  His relics are believed to be in the Church of Saint Bartholomew in the Island, on the Isle of Tiber in Rome

References: Saints, Robbie Blake, HarperCollins.

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