Saint Bartholomew the Apostle
Saint John and Saint Bartholomew (right) by Dosso Dossi, 1527
|Apostle and martyr|
|Born||1st century AD|
Cana, Galilee, Roman Empire
|Died||1st century AD|
|Venerated in||All Christian denominations which venerate saints|
|Major shrine||Saint Bartholomew Monastery in historical Armenia, Relics at Basilica of San Bartolomeo in Benevento, Italy, Saint Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber Church, Rome, Canterbury Cathedral, the Cathedrals in Frankfurt and Plzeň, and San Bartolomeo Cathedral in Lipari|
|Feast||August 24 (Western Christianity)|
June 11 (Eastern Christianity)
|Attributes||Knife and his flayed skin, Red Martyrdom|
|Patronage||Armenia; bookbinders; butchers; Florentine cheese and salt merchants; Gambatesa, Italy; Catbalogan, Samar; Magalang, Pampanga; Malabon, Metro Manila; Nagcarlan, Laguna; San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, Philippines; Għargħur, Malta; leather workers; neurological diseases; skin diseases; dermatology; plasterers; shoemakers; curriers; tanners; trappers; twitching; whiteners ; Los Cerricos (Spain)|
Bartholomew (Ancient Greek : Βαρθολομαῖος, romanized: Bartholomaîos; Latin : Bartholomaeus; Coptic : ⲃⲁⲣⲑⲟⲗⲟⲙⲉⲟⲥ; Hebrew : בר-תולמי; Arabic : بَرثُولَماوُس, romanized: Barthulmāwus) was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. He has also been identified as Nathanael or Nathaniel, who appears in the Gospel of John when introduced to Jesus by Philip (who would also become an apostle), (John 1:43–51) although many modern commentators reject the identification of Nathanael with Bartholomew.
According to the Synaxarium of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Bartholomew's martyrdom is commemorated on the first day of the Coptic calendar (i.e., the first day of the month of Thout), which currently falls on September 11 (corresponding to August 29 in the Julian calendar). Eastern Christianity honours him on June 11 and the Catholic Church honours him on August 24. The Church of England and other Anglican churches also honour him on August 24.
The Armenian Apostolic Church honours Saint Bartholomew along with Saint Thaddeus as its patron saints.
Bartholomew English for Bar Talmai (Greek : Βαρθολομαῖος, transliterated "Bartholomaios" in Greek) comes from the Aramaic : בר-תולמיbar-Tolmay native to Israel "son of Talmai" or "son of the furrows". Bartholomew is listed among the Twelve Apostles of Jesus in the three synoptic gospels: Matthew, [10:1–4] Mark, [3:13–19] and Luke, [6:12–16] and also appears as one of the witnesses of the Ascension; [Acts 1:4, 12, 13] on each occasion, however, he is named in the company of Philip. He is not mentioned by the name Bartholomew in the Gospel of John, nor are there any early acta , the earliest being written by a pseudepigraphical writer, Pseudo-Abdias, who assumed the identity of Abdias of Babylon and to whom is attributed the Saint-Thierry (Reims, Bibl. mun., ms 142) and Pseudo-Abdias manuscripts.
In art Bartholomew is most commonly depicted with a beard and curly hair at the time of his martyrdom. According to legends he was skinned alive and beheaded so is often depicted holding his flayed skin or the curved flensing knife with which he was skinned.
In the East, where Bartholomew's evangelical labours were expended, he was identified as Nathanael, in works by Abdisho bar Berika (often known as Ebedjesu in the West), the 14th century Nestorian metropolitan of Soba, and Elias, the bishop of Damascus.Nathanael is mentioned only in the Gospel of John. In the Synoptic Gospels, Philip and Bartholomew are always mentioned together, while Nathanael is never mentioned; in John's gospel, on the other hand, Philip and Nathanael are similarly mentioned together. Giuseppe Simone Assemani specifically remarks, "the Chaldeans confound Bartholomew with Nathaniel". Some Biblical scholars reject this identification, however.
Eusebius of Caesarea's Ecclesiastical History (5:10) states that after the Ascension, Bartholomew went on a missionary tour to India, where he left behind a copy of the Gospel of Matthew. Other traditions record him as serving as a missionary in Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Parthia, and Lycaonia.Popular traditions and legends say that Bartholomew preached the Gospel in India, then went to Greater Armenia.
Two ancient testimonies exist about the mission of Saint Bartholomew in India. These are of Eusebius of Caesarea (early 4th century) and of Saint Jerome (late 4th century). Both of these refer to this tradition while speaking of the reported visit of Pantaenus to India in the 2nd century.The studies of Fr A.C. Perumalil SJ and Moraes hold that the Bombay region on the Konkan coast, a region which may have been known as the ancient city Kalyan, was the field of Saint Bartholomew's missionary activities.
Along with his fellow apostle Jude "Thaddeus", Bartholomew is reputed to have brought Christianity to Armenia in the 1st century. Thus, both saints are considered the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
One tradition has it that Apostle Bartholomew was executed in Albanopolis in Armenia. According to popular hagiography, the apostle was flayed alive and beheaded. According to other accounts he was crucified upside down (head downward) like St. Peter. He is said to have been martyred for having converted Polymius, the king of Armenia, to Christianity. Enraged by the monarch's conversion, and fearing a Roman backlash, king Polymius's brother, prince Astyages, ordered Bartholomew's torture and execution, which Bartholomew endured. However, there are no records of any Armenian King of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia with the name Polymius. Current scholarship indicates that Bartholomew more likely died in Kalyan in India, where there was an official named Polymius.
The 13th-century Saint Bartholomew Monastery was a prominent Armenian monastery constructed at the site of the martyrdom of Apostle Bartholomew in Vaspurakan, Greater Armenia (now in southeastern Turkey).
The 6th-century writer in Constantinople, Theodorus Lector, averred that in about 507, the Byzantine emperor Anastasius I Dicorus gave the body of Bartholomew to the city of Daras, in Mesopotamia, which he had recently refounded.The existence of relics at Lipari, a small island off the coast of Sicily, in the part of Italy controlled from Constantinople, was explained by Gregory of Tours by his body having miraculously washed up there: a large piece of his skin and many bones that were kept in the Cathedral of St Bartholomew the Apostle, Lipari, were translated to Benevento in 838, where they are still kept now in the Basilica San Bartolomeo. A portion of the relics was given in 983 by Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor, to Rome, where it is conserved at San Bartolomeo all'Isola, which was founded on the temple of Asclepius, an important Roman medical centre. This association with medicine in course of time caused Bartholomew's name to become associated with medicine and hospitals. Some of Bartholomew's alleged skull was transferred to the Frankfurt Cathedral, while an arm was venerated in Canterbury Cathedral.
Of the many miracles claimed to have been performed by Bartholomew before and after his death, two very popular ones are known by the townsfolk of the small Italian island of Lipari.
The people of Lipari celebrated his feast day annually. The tradition of the people was to take the solid silver and gold statue from inside the Cathedral of St Bartholomew and carry it through the town. On one occasion, when taking the statue down the hill towards the town, it suddenly became very heavy and had to be set down. When the men carrying the statue regained their strength, they lifted it a second time. After another few seconds, it got even heavier. They set it down and attempted once more to pick it up. They managed to lift it but had to put it down one last time. Within seconds, walls further downhill collapsed. If the statue had been able to be lifted, all the townspeople would have been killed.
During World War II, the Fascist regime looked for ways to finance their activities. The order was given to take the silver statue of Saint Bartholomew and melt it down. The statue was weighed, and it was found to be only a few grams. It was returned to its place in the Cathedral of Lipari. In reality, the statue is made from many kilograms of silver and it is considered a miracle that it was not melted down.
Saint Bartholomew is credited with many other miracles having to do with the weight of objects.
The appearance of the saint is described in detail in the Golden Legend : "His hair is black and crisped, his skin fair, his eyes wide, his nose even and straight, his beard thick and with few grey hairs; he is of medium stature..."Christian tradition has three stories about Bartholomew's death: "One speaks of his being kidnapped, beaten unconscious, and cast into the sea to drown. Another account states that he was crucified upside down, and another says that he was skinned alive and beheaded in Albac or Albanopolis", near Başkale, Turkey
St Bartholomew is the most prominent flayed Christian martyr.During the 16th century, images of the flaying of Bartholomew were so popular that it came to signify the saint in works of art. Consequently, Saint Bartholomew is most often represented being skinned alive. Symbols associated with the saint include knives (alluding to the knife used to skin the saint alive) and his skin, which Bartholomew holds or drapes around his body. Similarly, the ancient herald of Bartholomew is known by "flaying knives with silver blades and gold handles, on a red field." As in Michelangelo’s Last Judgement , the saint is often depicted with both the knife and his skin. Representations of Bartholomew with a chained demon are common in Spanish painting.
St Bartholomew is often depicted in lavish medieval manuscripts.Manuscripts, which are literally made from flayed and manipulated skin, hold a strong visual and cognitive association with the saint during the medieval period and can also be seen as depicting book production. Florentine artist Pacino di Bonaguida, depicts his martyrdom in a complex and striking composition in his Laudario of Sant’Agnese, a book of Italian Hymns produced for the Compagnia di Sant’Agnese c. 1340. In the five scene, narrative based image three torturers flay Bartholomew's legs and arms as he is immobilised and chained to a gate. On the right, the saint wears his own flesh tied around his neck while he kneels in prayer before a rock, his severed head fallen to the ground. Another example includes the Flaying of St. Bartholomew in the Luttrell Psalter c.1325-1340. Bartholomew is depicted on a surgical table, surrounded by tormentors while he is flayed with golden knives.
Due to the nature of his martyrdom, Bartholomew is the patron saint of tanners, plasterers, tailors, leatherworkers, bookbinders, farmers, housepainters, butchers, and glove makers.In works of art the saint has been depicted being skinned by tanners, as in Guido da Siena's reliquary shutters with the Martyrdoms of St. Francis, St. Claire, St. Bartholomew, and St. Catherine of Alexandria. Popular in Florence and other areas in Tuscany, the saint also came to be associated with salt, oil, and cheese merchants.
Although Bartholomew's death is commonly depicted in artworks of a religious nature, his story has also been used to represent anatomical depictions of the human body devoid of flesh. An example of this can be seen in Marco d'Agrate's St Bartholomew Flayed (1562) where Bartholomew is depicted wrapped in his own skin with every muscle, vein and tendon clearly visible, acting as a clear description of the muscles and structure of the human body.
The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew (1634) by Jusepe de Ribera depicts Bartholomew's final moments before being flayed alive. The viewer is meant to empathize with Bartholomew, whose body seemingly bursts through the surface of the canvas, and whose outstretched arms embrace a mystical light that illuminates his flesh. His piercing eyes, open mouth, and petitioning left hand bespeak an intense communion with the divine; yet this same hand draws our attention to the instruments of his torture, symbolically positioned in the shape of a cross. Transfixed by Bartholomew's active faith, the executioner seems to have stopped short in his actions, and his furrowed brow and partially illuminated face suggest a moment of doubt, with the possibility of conversion.The representation of Bartholomew's demise in the National Gallery painting differs significantly from all other depictions by Ribera. By limiting the number of participants to the main protagonists of the story—the saint, his executioner, one of the priests who condemned him, and one of the soldiers who captured him—and presenting them halflength and filling the picture space, the artist rejected an active, movemented composition for one of intense psychological drama. The cusping along all four edges shows that the painting has not been cut down: Ribera intended the composition to be just such a tight, restricted presentation, with the figures cut off and pressed together.
The idea of using the story of Bartholomew being skinned alive to create an artwork depicting an anatomical study of a human is still common amongst contemporary artists with Gunther Von Hagens's The Skin Man (2002) and Damien Hirst's Exquisite Pain (2006). Within Gunther Von Hagens's body of work called Body Worlds a figure reminiscent of Bartholomew holds up his skin. This figure is depicted in actual human tissues (made possible by Hagens's plastination process) to educate the public about the inner workings of the human body and to show the effects of healthy and unhealthy lifestyles.In Exquisite Pain 2006, Damien Hirst depicts St Bartholomew with a high level of anatomical detail with his flayed skin draped over his right arm, a scalpel in one hand and a pair of scissors in the other. The inclusion of scissors was inspired by Tim Burton's film Edward Scissorhands (1990).
Bartholomew plays a part in Francis Bacon's Utopian tale New Atlantis , about a mythical isolated land, Bensalem, populated by a people dedicated to reason and natural philosophy. Some twenty years after the ascension of Christ the people of Bensalem found an ark floating off their shore. The ark contained a letter as well as the books of the Old and New Testaments. The letter was from Bartholomew the Apostle and declared that an angel told him to set the ark and its contents afloat. Thus the scientists of Bensalem received the revelation of the Word of God.
The festival in August has been a traditional occasion for markets and fairs, such as the Bartholomew Fair which was held in Smithfield, London, from the Middle Ages,and which served as the scene for Ben Jonson's 1614 homonymous comedy.
St Bartholomew's Street Fair is held in Crewkerne, Somerset, annually at the start of September. [ citation needed ]The fair dates back to Saxon times and the major traders' market was recorded in the Domesday Book. St Bartholomew's Street Fair, Crewkerne is reputed to have been granted its charter in the time of Henry III (1207–1272). The earliest surviving court record was made in 1280, which can be found in the British Library. The associated fun fair dates from at least 1861.
The Qur’anic account of the disciples of Jesus does not include their names, numbers, or any detailed accounts of their lives. Muslim exegesis, however, more-or-less agrees with the New Testament list and says that the disciples included Peter, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, Andrew, James, Jude, John and Simon the Zealot.
John the Evangelist is the name traditionally given to the author of the Gospel of John. Christians have traditionally identified him with John the Apostle, John of Patmos, or John the Presbyter, although this has been disputed by modern scholars.
Thomas the Apostle, also called Didymus ("twin"), was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Thomas is commonly known as "Doubting Thomas" because he doubted Jesus' resurrection when first told of it ; later, he confessed his faith, "My Lord and my God," on seeing Jesus' crucifixion wounds.
John the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Generally listed as the youngest apostle, he was the son of Zebedee and Salome or Joanna. His brother was James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles. The Church Fathers identify him as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder and the Beloved Disciple, and testify that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one to die of natural causes. However, modern scholars believe these to be separate people. The traditions of most Christian denominations have held that John the Apostle is the author of several books of the New Testament, although this has been disputed by some scholars.
Pope Fabian was the Bishop of Rome from 10 January 236 to his death in 250, succeeding Anterus. He is famous for the miraculous nature of his election, in which a dove is said to have descended on his head to mark him as the Holy Spirit's unexpected choice to become the next pope. He was succeeded by Cornelius.
Philip the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to New Testament. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia.
Longinus is the name given to the unnamed Roman soldier who pierced the side of Jesus with a lance and who in medieval and some modern Christian traditions is described as a convert to Christianity. His name first appeared in the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus. The lance is called in Christianity the "Holy Lance" (lancea) and the story is related in the Gospel of John during the Crucifixion. This act is said to have created the last of the Five Holy Wounds of Christ.
James the Great also known as James, son of Zebedee or as Saint James the Greater was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. James is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus. The Synoptic Gospels say that James and John were with their father by the seashore when Jesus called them to follow him. Saint James is the patron saint of Spain and, according to tradition, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.
Simon the Zealot or Simon the Canaanite or Simon the Cananaean was one of the most obscure among the apostles of Jesus. A few pseudepigraphical writings were connected to him, but Saint Jerome does not include him in De viris illustribus written between 392–393 AD.
Jude, also known as Judas Thaddaeus, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. He is generally identified with Thaddeus, and is also variously called Jude of James, Jude Thaddaeus, Judas Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus. He is sometimes identified with Jude, the brother of Jesus, but is clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus prior to his crucifixion. Catholic writer Michal Hunt suggests that Judas Thaddaeus became known as Jude after early translators of the New Testament from Greek into English sought to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and subsequently abbreviated his forename. Most versions of the New Testament in languages other than English and French refer to Judas and Jude by the same name.
Legend makes Abdias first bishop of Babylon and one of the Seventy Apostles who are collectively mentioned in the Gospel of Luke 10:1-20. Saints Simon and Jude allegedly consecrated him as the first Bishop of Babylon. Nothing certain is known about him.
The Monastery of Saint Thaddeus is an ancient Armenian monastery in the mountainous area of West Azerbaijan Province, Iran.
Christianity has used symbolism from its very beginnings. Each saint has a story and a reason why they led an exemplary life. Symbols have been used to tell these stories throughout the history of the Church. A number of Christian saints are traditionally represented by a symbol or iconic motif associated with their life, termed an attribute or emblem, in order to identify them. The study of these forms part of iconography in art history. They were particularly used so that the illiterate could recognize a scene, and to give each of the Saints something of a personality in art. They are often carried in the hand by the Saint.
Pseudo-Abdias is the name formerly given to a collection of New Testament Apocrypha held by the Bibliothèque nationale de France and consisting of Latin translations in ten books containing several chapters. Each book describes the life of one of the Apostles.
Roman Armenia refers to the rule of parts of Greater Armenia by the Roman Empire, from the 1st century AD to the end of Late Antiquity. While Armenia Minor had become a client state and incorporated into the Roman Empire proper during the 1st century AD, Greater Armenia remained an independent kingdom under the Arsacid dynasty. Throughout this period, Armenia remained a bone of contention between Rome and the Parthian Empire, as well as the Sasanian Empire that succeeded the latter, and the casus belli for several of the Roman–Persian Wars. Only in 114–118 was Emperor Trajan able to conquer and incorporate it as a short-lived province.
Saint Bartholomew Monastery was a medieval Armenian monastery in the historic province of Vaspurakan, 23 km north-east from the town of Başkale, in present-day Turkey's Van Province, near the Iranian border. The monastery was built on the traditional site of martyrdom of Bartholomew the Apostle, who is reputed to have brought Christianity to Armenia in the first century. Along with Thaddeus the Apostle, Bartholomew is considered the patron saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It was a prominent pilgrimage site prior to the Armenian Genocide. Today, it is heavily ruined and the dome entirely gone.
Albanopolis was a city, probably in the Caucasus, famed in Christianity as being the place at which the apostle Bartholomew was crucified.
In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, particularly the Twelve Apostles, were the primary disciples of Jesus according to the New Testament. In addition to Christian theology, Islamic theology also acknowledges the apostles in the Qur’an. During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus.
Stephen, traditionally venerated as the protomartyr or first martyr of Christianity, was according to the Acts of the Apostles a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy at his trial, he made a speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who would later become a follower of Jesus and known as Paul the Apostle.
The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew is a painting by Jusepe de Ribera conserved at the National Art Museum of Catalonia.
Lipari Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Lipari in the Province of Messina, Sicily, dedicated to Saint Bartholomew. Formerly the episcopal seat of the diocese of Lipari, it has been since 1986 a co-cathedral in the Archdiocese of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela.
Muslim exegesis identifies the disciples of Jesus as Peter, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas, Philip, John, James, Bartholomew, and Simon
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bartholomew the Apostle .|