Saint Bartolomeu Fernandes dos Mártires

Saint Bartolomeu Fernandes dos Mártires
Born: 3rd May 1514, Lisbon, Portugal
Died: 16th July 1590 Minho, Portugal
Feast Day: 16th July
Patron Saint: Archdiocese of Braga
Shrine: Viana do Castelo, Minho, Portugal
Also Known As: Saint Bartolomeu dei Martiri Fernandes, Bartholomeo Fernandez dos Martires, Bartolomeu dos Mártires Fernandes, Bartholomew of Braga, Bartholomæus de Martyribus
Symbols in Art: Episcopal attire, Dominican habit, Pastoral staff
Venerated: 23rd May 1845 by Pope Gregoy XVI
Beatified: 4th November 2001 by Pope John Paul II
Canonised: 5th July 2019 by Pope Francis

Saint Bartolomeu was born in Lisbon on 3rd May 1514 and joined the Dominican order on 11th November 1528.  He completed his theology and philosophy studies with excellent grades and started teaching philosophy at St Dominic of Lisbon in 1538 and then Theology in the college of Batanha in 1540.  At Evora he became the royal tutor and preacher.

He was presented by Queen Catherine of Portugal in 1558 for the Archbishop of Braga and Pope Paul IV confirmed his appointment although Bartolomeu was reluctant.  He remained in position from 27th January 1559 to 23rd February 1582. He took part in the Council of Trent and introduced the Councils decisions to Portugal. He was responsible for establishing hospitals and hospices in the diocese and established the first clerical seminary in Portugal.

His 32 works include Biblical commentaries, a Portuguese catechism, and a Compendium doctrinal spiritualis (22 editions).  Late in life Pope Gregory XIII allowed him to resign his office and he spent his last eight years as a teacher and prayerful monk in the monastery of Viana, Portugal where his relics remain.