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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Feast of Saint Bartholomew

St Bartholomew
August 24
Apostle, Martyr
Patron Saint of Armenia

Apostle of Jesus identified as Nathanael (John 1:45) is called by his patronymic name Bartholomew in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14). His patronymic name or family name Bartholomew would identify him as bar Talmay or son of Talmay.

In today’s Gospel, Nathanael is introduced to Jesus by Philip as “the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” (John 1:45) Nathanael retorts, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46)

Pope Benedict XVI in his General Audience October 4, 2006 spoke about this Gospel, the Apostle Nathanael, and each one of us. Just as Nathanael recognized Jesus as the “Son of God” (John 1:49) through his personal experience with Jesus, we will come to know God by seeking a deep relationship with His Son.

“Nathanael's reaction suggests another thought to us: in our relationship with Jesus we must not be satisfied with words alone. In his answer, Philip offers Nathanael a meaningful invitation: "Come and see!" (John 1: 46). Our knowledge of Jesus needs above all a first-hand experience: someone else's testimony is of course important, for normally the whole of our Christian life begins with the proclamation handed down to us by one or more witnesses. However, we ourselves must then be personally involved in a close and deep relationship with Jesus…

We have no precise information about Bartholomew-Nathanael's subsequent apostolic activity. According to information handed down by Eusebius, the 4th century historian, a certain Pantaenus is supposed to have discovered traces of Bartholomew's presence even in India (cf Hist Eccl V, 10, 3)….To conclude, we can say that despite the scarcity of information about him, St Bartholomew stands before us to tell us that attachment to Jesus can also be lived and witnessed to without performing sensational deeds. Jesus himself, to whom each one of us is called to dedicate his or her own life and death, is and remains extraordinary.” (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience October 4, 2006)

“Earthly glory is a passing glory,
but heavenly glory like that of Bartholomew
and all the Saints is a glory that will last.
It’s an eternal glory.” Fr. James Kubicki

For items related to the Catholic Church
please visit Lynn's Timeless Treasures.

Saint Bartholomew - Carlo Crivelli (1470 - 80) Civche Raccolte d' Arte Antica, Castello Storzesco, Milan
Saint Bartholomew - Michelangelo's The Last Judgement (Altar wall 1537-41)
Sistine Chapel Vatican City

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