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St. Bartholomew, Apostle

Saint Bartholomew, also known as Nathanael, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He’s introduced in the Gospel of John, where we find him sitting under a fig tree. This moment is significant, symbolizing contemplation and spiritual seeking. In biblical tradition, the fig tree often represents a place of meditation and self-discovery.

Upon hearing about Jesus from Philip, Bartholomew was skeptical but went to see Him. Jesus recognized him and referred to him as an Israelite without deceit, surprising Bartholomew by saying He saw him under the fig tree. This personal knowledge led Bartholomew to believe in Jesus, showing how a personal encounter can turn doubt into faith.

Bartholomew’s missionary work took him to places like India and Armenia. His dedication to spreading the teachings of Christ had a lasting impact on the expansion of Christianity, and his travels show his commitment to sharing the faith.

The story of his martyrdom is both tragic and inspiring. He was flayed alive and beheaded in Armenia for his beliefs. His willingness to endure such suffering reflects his profound faith and dedication to his mission.

In conclusion, the life of Saint Bartholomew offers valuable lessons in faith, courage, contemplation, and dedication. His time under the fig tree symbolizes a thoughtful search for truth that many can relate to. His feast day, celebrated on August 24th, provides an opportunity for reflection on these virtues and how we might strive to embody them in our daily lives.

His feast day is August 24.

Patron Saint of …

St. Bartholomew is the patron saint of bookbinders, butchers, cobblers, leather workers, nervous diseases, and neurological diseases.

Daily Mass Readings for the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

  • First ReadingRevelation 21:9b-14: An angel shows the speaker a vision of the holy city Jerusalem, descending from heaven, gleaming with divine splendor. The city’s walls have twelve gates guarded by angels, representing the tribes of Israel, and foundations bearing the names of the Apostles.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 145: The faithful are called to bless and thank the LORD, discussing His mighty and glorious Kingdom. This Kingdom endures through all ages, with the LORD being just and near to those who call upon Him in truth.
  • Gospel John 1:45-51: Philip introduces Nathanael (Bartholomew) to Jesus, who impresses Nathanael by revealing that He saw him under a fig tree. Nathanael acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God and is promised greater revelations.

Homilies and Reflections

Word on Fire Scripture Reflection: Faith as a Gateway to Higher Reality

In today’s reflection from Bishop Robert Barron, he discusses Nathaniel’s profession of faith in Jesus as the Son of God in the Gospel. Bishop Barron emphasizes that faith is the foundation of Christianity and describes it as the ability to perceive a higher reality beyond what our senses can detect. He compares faith to Plato’s allegory of the cave, where emerging from darkness into sunlight represents seeing a new world of depth. Similarly, Christianity offers an understanding of a dimension of being that transcends mere sensory perception. Faith, according to Bishop Barron, is a resistance to the limitations of Enlightenment rationalism, recognizing that there’s more to existence than what can be measured.

USCCB Video: A Connection Through God’s Word

This USCCB video reflection acknowledges the gift of taking time to read and reflect on God’s word and how it can enlighten and uplift us. It recognizes the human condition of doubt and turmoil, and how the world may lead us to question faith. Despite these challenges, consistently turning to God’s word allows us to encounter Jesus, understand God’s love and mercy, and find truth. The reflection encourages a continual connection to God’s word and reminds us that God is always near to those who seek truth.

USCCB Video: Recognition of Jesus

Saint Bartholomew, initially skeptical about Jesus, changes his mind after making connections with biblical prophecies. His doubts about Jesus being from Nazareth are transformed into belief that Jesus is the Messiah. The description of Bartholomew sitting under a fig tree and recognizing Jesus is linked to prophecies from Micah and Zechariah. This understanding leads to his bold proclamation that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and emphasizes the importance of following Jesus through both words and deeds.

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

you are the son of God
Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Saint Bartholomew
Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.

Frequently Asked Questions

What date Is the Feast of Saint Bartholomew?

It is observed annually on August 24. It’s a time for reflection on his virtues and an opportunity to strive to embody them in our own lives.

The next date is Saturday August 24, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle?

The Mass readings for Saturday August 24, 2024 are:
First Reading – Revelation 21:9b-14: Vision of the Holy City
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 145: Praise for God’s Kingdom
Gospel – John 1:45-51: Meeting Nathanael
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings and links to the readings.

Who was St. Bartholomew?

Saint Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. He is also known as Nathanael and is often identified with sincerity and faithfulness in his search for spiritual truth.

Why is St. Bartholomew associated with a fig tree?

He is associated with sitting under a fig tree, which symbolizes contemplation and spiritual seeking. This moment is mentioned in the Gospel of John, reflecting his sincere search for truth and his subsequent encounter with Jesus.

Where did Saint Bartholomew preach?

Tradition tells us that he preached in various places, including India and Armenia. His missionary work helped spread Christianity and left a lasting impact on those regions.

How did Saint Bartholomew die?

He was martyred for his faith. It is believed that he was flayed alive and then beheaded in Armenia. His willingness to suffer for his beliefs is a testament to his profound faith.

What can we learn from Saint Bartholomew’s life?

His life offers lessons in faith, courage, contemplation, and dedication. From his time under the fig tree to his fearless missionary work, he provides an example for modern believers in seeking spiritual truth and living out one’s faith.

Who is St. Bartholomew the patron saint of?

He is the patron saint of bookbinders, butchers, cobblers, leather workers, nervous diseases, and neurological diseases.

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