Patron of Plasterers
Many Scripture scholars identify (reasonably but not conclusively) St. Bartholomew with Nathaniel who was conducted to Christ by St. Philip. The name Bartholomew signifies son of Tolmai, and it was given to the Saint in the same sense that “Bar Jonah” was attached to St. Peter. He was chosen by our Lord Himself to be one of the Twelve Apostles.
According to Eusebius and other ancient writers, he preached the Gospel in the most barbarous countries of the East, penetrating as far as India. Eusebius relates that when St. Pantaenus, in 3rd century, went to India, he still found the knowledge of Christ in that country, and copy of the Gospel of St. Matthew in Hebrew was shown to him, which he was told had been brought there by St. Bartholomew.
St. John Chrysostom declares that St. Bartholomew brought the faith to the people of Lycaonia. According to St. Gregory of Tours, the last field of his labors was Great Armenia, where, preaching in a place obstinately addicted to the worship of idols, he suffered martyrdom. By some it is said that he was flayed alive; by others that he suffered crucifixion—both these opinions being reconcilable. The relics of the Saint are preserved in the church of St. Bartholomew on the island in the Tiber River near Rome.
PRAYER: God, strengthen in us that faith by which your Apostle St. Bartholomew adhered to Your Son with sincerity of mind. Through his intercession, grant that Your Church may become a sacrament of salvation for all nations. Amen.