Saint of the Day for 24 August: St Bartholomew
Apostle without borders: The intrepid mission of St Bartholomew
1st century, Cana, Galilee
1st century, Albanopolis, Caucasia
By that most singular spirit of prayer in which you, O great apostle St Bartholomew, never let a day go by without bowing down to the ground several times in obeisance to the divine Majesty, despite your frequent journeys and your continual labours in proclaiming the word of health to Lycaonia, Albania, the East Indies and especially Armenia, impart to us all the grace of putting all our delight in the labours of piety, that we may always prefer them to all the interests of this world.
Patron saint of
Benevento, Avezzano, Formigine, Brugherio, San Giuliano Terme, Borgomanero, Casalgrande, Pavullo nel Frignano, Casalpusterlengo, Vinovo
Shoemakers, tanners, glove makers, bookbinders, butchers, furriers, tailors
Feast of St Bartholomew the Apostle, commonly identified with Nathanael. Born in Cana of Galilee, he was led by Philip to Christ Jesus at the Jordan and the Lord then called him to follow him, joining him to the Twelve. After the Ascension of the Lord, he is said to have preached the Gospel of the Lord in India, where he would be crowned by martyrdom.
The Saint and Mission
St Bartholomew, one of the Apostles chosen directly by Jesus, dedicated his life to the mission of spreading the Gospel. Going far beyond the familiar borders of Israel, he is said to have taken the Word to places as distant as India or Armenia, displaying an unrelenting commitment to spreading the saving message of Christ. At a time when travelling was complex and dangerous, Bartholomew’s determination to pursue his apostolic mission is testimony to his deep love for Christ and humanity. He did not just share a teaching, but brought the transformation and hope of the Christian faith to different peoples and cultures. His dedication to mission reminds us of the importance of evangelisation and the unceasing call to bring the light of Christ to every corner of the world.
The Saint and Mercy
St Bartholomew is often evoked for his unconditional impulse towards the truth and his faithfulness to Jesus. But beyond the biblical stories, his role and testimony are steeped in the message of mercy that Christ brought to earth. Bartholomew, in his dedication to spreading the Gospel, embodied Jesus’ message of love, compassion and mercy. He not only heard the words of Christ, but put them into practice, showing mercy to those he met, regardless of their status or origin. His life and martyrdom are a powerful reminder of how mercy can be lived not only through words, but also through concrete actions, even at the cost of one’s own life. St Bartholomew inspires us to courageously live the message of mercy in our daily lives, reminding us that in showing love to others, we draw closer to the heart of God.
The Apostle St Bartholomew was a Galilean and probably a fisherman like most of the Apostles. Chosen by Jesus, Nathanael, his original name, he too had the happy fate of nourishing his soul with the words of life that came from the blessed lips of the Divine Master throughout his preaching, and of witnessing his miracles.
Together with the other Apostles, he preached the Gospel in Judea, working miracles and…