|mosaic of St Barts, Lowell Massachusetts
Bartholomew the Holy Apostle
Reading from the Synaxarion:
Saint Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles, and had Galilee as his homeland; this is all that is known of him for certain according to the history of the Gospels. Concerning his apostolic work, certain say that he preached in Arabia and Persia, and especially in India, bringing to them the Gospel written by Saint Matthew. While originally written in Hebrew, Bartholomew must have at least orally translated the text.
Other accounts though, say that he went to Armenia; this is like the Scots who claim St Andrew isited their island hence he is their patron saint and Christianizer. Another legend he was crucified, or flayed alive, in Albanopolis (Urbanopolis) of Armenia.
Some think that Bartholomew and Nathanael are the same person. This is because the Evangelists who mention Bartholomew do not mention Nathanael; and John, who alone mentions Nathanael as one of the Twelve, says nothing of Bartholomew. This is possible because Bartholomew is a patronymic, “son of Talmai,” which means “bold, spirited” (Kings 3:3), and Nathanael could have had this as a surname; we simply do not know.
According to the Synaxarion of the Menaion on April 22, however, it is Simon the Zealot and Nathanael who are the same; the Evangelists who mention Simon the Zealot (or “the Canaanite”) do not mention Nathanael. Nonetheless, the Apostle Bartholomew is the saint of healing, not only physical by psychic and spiritual wounds.
Apolytikion of Apostle Bartholomew in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
Kontakion of Apostle Bartholomew in the Fourth Tone
To the Church thou hast appeared as a great daystar; with thy teachings as thy rays and beams of awesome miracles, thou hast enlightened those praising thee, the Lord’s Apostle, O sacred Bartholomew.