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ST. BARTHOLOMEW was one of the twelve who were called to the apostolate by our blessed Lord Himself. Several learned interpreters of the Holy Scripture take this apostle to have been the same as Nathaniel, a native of Cana, in Galilee, a doctor in the Jewish law, and one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ, to whom he was conducted by St. Philip, and whose innocence and simplicity of heart deserved to be celebrated with the highest eulogium by the divine mouth of Our Redeemer. He is mentioned among the disciples who were met together in prayer after Christ's ascension, and he received the Holy Ghost with the rest. Being eminently qualified by the divine grace to discharge the functions of an apostle, he carried the Gospel through the most barbarous countries of the East, penetrating into the remoter Indies. He then returned again into the northwest part of Asia, and met St. Philip, at Hierapolis, in Phrygia. Hence he travelled into Lycaonia, where he instructed the people in the Christian Faith; but we know not even the names of many of the countries in which he preached. St. Bartholomew's last removal was into Great Armenia, where, preaching in a place obstinately addicted to the worship of idols, he was crowned with a glorious martyrdom. The modern Greek historians say that he was condemned by the governor of Albanopolis to be crucified. Others affirm that he was flayed alive, which might well enough consist with his crucifixion, this double punishment being in use not only in Egypt, but also among the Persians.
Reflection. —The characteristic virtue of the apostles was zeal for the divine glory, the first property of the love of God. A soldier is always ready to defend the honor of his prince, and a son that of his father; and can a Christian say he loves God who is indifferent to His honor?
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Ps. 138, 1, 2. Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me: Thou hast know my sitting down and my rising up. Glory be …
Almighty, eternal God, Who hast bestowed on us the august and holy joy of this day by the festival of Thy blessed apostle Bartholomew, grant unto Thy Church, we beseech Thee, both to love what he believed and to preach what he taught. Through our Lord.
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
[Of the diversity of spiritual gifts. The members of the mystical body, like those of the natural body, must mutually cherish one another.]
BRETHREN, you are the body of Christ, and members of member. And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors; after that miracles; then the graces of healing, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But be zealous for the better gifts.
Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth: they shall be mindful of Thy name, O Lord. Instead of Thy fathers sons are born to Thee: therefore shall people praise Thee.Alleluia, alleluia. Thee, the glorious choir of the apostles doth praise, O Lord. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ excuses his disciples. He cures upon the sabbath day, chooses the twelve and makes a sermon to them.]
At that time, Jesus went out into a mountain to pray, and he passed the whole night in the prayer of God. And when day was come, he called unto him his disciples; and he chose twelve of them (whom also he named apostles). Simon, whom he surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon who is called Zelotes,
And Jude, the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, who was the traitor. And coming down with them, he stood in a plain place, and the company of his disciples, and a very great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast both of Tyre and Sidon, Who were come to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases. And they that were troubled with unclean spirits, were cured. And all the multitude sought to touch him, for virtue went out from him, and healed all.
To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened.
Commemorating the feast of Thy blessed apostle Bartholomew, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may obtain Thy blessings by his aid for whom we immolate sacrifices of praise to Thee. Through our Lord.
You, who have followed Me, shall sit on seats, judging he twelve tribes of Israel, saith the Lord.
May the pledge of everlasting redemption, which we he received, O Lord, be unto us, we beseech Thee, by the intercession of blessed Bartholomew Thine apostle, an aid alike for the present and the future life. Through our Lord.