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Thursday, August 24, 2006
Feast of St. Bartholomew

Feast (1969 Calendar): August 24
Double of the II Class (1955 Calendar): August 24

Today is the Feastday of St. Bartholomew, who is also called Nathaniel in the Gospels. Let us pray to follow Our Lord as St. Bartholomew did. Let us answer Philip's call to "Come and see".

The Holy Gospel:

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
John 1:45-51

Excerpt from The Church's Year of Grace by Pius Parsch:

"In St. John's Gospel, Bartholomew is known by the name Nathaniel (the liturgy does not always seem aware of this identity). He hailed from Cana in Galilee, was one of the first disciples called by the Lord. On that initial meeting Jesus uttered the glorious compliment: "Behold, an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile!" After the resurrection he was favored by becoming one of the few apostles who witnessed the appearance of the risen Savior on the sea of Galilee (John 21:2). Following the ascension he is said to have preached in Greater Armenia and to have been martyred there. While still alive, his skin was torn from his body. The Armenians honor him as the apostle of their nation. Concerning the fate of his relics, the Martyrology says: "His holy body was first taken to the island of Lipari (north of Sicily), then to Benevento, and finally to Rome on an island in the Tiber where it is honored by the faithful with pious devotion."

"The Church of Armenia has a national tradition that St. Jude Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew visited the Armenians early in the first century and introduced Christianity among the worshippers of the god Ahura Mazda. The new faith spread throughout the land, and in 302 A.D., St. Gregory the Illuminator baptized the king of Armenia, Dertad the Great, along with many of his followers. Since Dertad was probably the first ruler to embrace Christianity for his nation, the Armenians proudly claim they were the first Christian State."


Almighty and everlasting God, Who hast granted us a reverent and a holy joy in this day's festival of Thy blessed Apostle Bartholomew, grant, we beseech Thee, that Thy Church may both love what he believed and preach what he taught. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Image Source: "The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew" by Giovanni Battista, 1722, Oil on canvas, 167 x 139 cm, San Stae, Venice


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