Who Is St. Bartholomew?
St. Bartholomew is believed by the Catholic Church to have carried the Gospel to several countries, resulting in a martyrdom of being flayed, or skinned, alive.
Palestine (first century a.d.)
Patron: shoemakers, cobblers, butchers, tanners
Feast day: August 24
Nathaniel Bar-Tholmai is known just by his first name or by the common rendering of his surname, which literally means son of Tolomai.
Philip introduced Bartholomew to the Lord. When told that the Messiah had arrived and that he was Jesus of Nazareth, Bartholomew’s response was, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” which prompted Jesus to say, “This man has no guile” (John 1:47); in other words, he speaks his mind.
John’s Gospel mentions Bartholomew as one of the Apostles to whom the risen Christ appeared at the Sea of Galilee after his Resurrection. Bartholomew is believed to have carried the Gospel to India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, and Armenia.
The remains of St. Bartholomew were transferred to two churches in Italy: Benevento and the Church of St. Bartholomew-in-the-Tiber in Rome. This saint’s main symbol consists of three knives representing his gruesome death.
Because of the manner in which he died, St. Bartholomew became the patron saint of butchers, tanners, and leather workers, who peel the hide off animals before the carcasses are sent to the butcher.