The name “Bartholomew” appears in the New Testament only on lists of the names of the twelve apostles. This list normally is given as six pairs, and the third pair in each of the Synoptics is “Philip and Bartholomew” (Mt 10:3; Mk 3:18; Lk 6:14; but Acts 1:15).
John gives no list of the Twelve, but refers to more of them individually than the Synoptists. He does not name Bartholomew, but early in his account (John 1:43-50) he tells of the call to discipleship of a Nathaniel who is often supposed to be the same person. The reasoning is as follows: John’s Nathanael is introduced as one of the earliest followers of Jesus, and in terms which suggest that he became one of the Twelve. He is clearly not the same as Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Thomas, Judas Iscariot, Judas (not Iscariot, also called Lebbaeus or Thaddeus), all of whom John names separately. He is not Matthew, whose call is described differently (M 9:9). This leaves Bartholomew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes. Of these, Bartholomew is the leading candidate for two reasons:
(1) “Bar-tholomew” is a patronymic, meaning “son of Tolmai (or Talmai).” It is therefore likely that he had another name. “Nathanael son of Tolmai” seems more likely than “Nathanael also called James (or Simon).”
(2) Nathanael is introduced in John’s narrative as a friend of Philip. Since Bartholomew is paired with Philip on three of our four lists of Apostles, it seems likely that they were associated.
We have no certain information about Bartholomew’s later life. Some writers, including the historian Eusebius of Caesarea (now Har Qesari, 32:30 N 34:54 E, near Sedot Yam), say that he preached in India. The majority tradition, with varying details, is that Bartholomew preached in Armenia, and was finally skinned alive and beheaded to Albanus or Albanopolis (now Derbent, 42:03 N 48:18 E) on the Caspian Sea. His emblem in art is a flaying knife. The flayed Bartholomew can be seen in Michelangelo’s Sistine painting of the Last Judgement. He is holding his skin. The face on the skin is generally considered to be a self-portrait of Michelangelo.
INTROIT Psalm 138: 7
To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable : their principality is exceedingly strengthened. (Psalm 138: 1-2). Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and y rising up. v. Glory be…etc
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 Jesus Christ our Lord, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE I Corinthians 12: 27-31
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. 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 healings, 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 ye zealous for the better gifts.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 44: 17,18
Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth: they shall be mindful of Thy name, O Lord. V. Instead of Thy fathers sons are born to Thee: therefore shall people praise Thee. Alleluia, alleluia. V. Thee, the glorious choir of the apostles doth praise, O Lord. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 6: 12-19
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 seacoast, 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.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 138: 17
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 Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
PREFACE of the Apostle
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou woulds not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangesl, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 19: 28
You who have followed Me shall sit on seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
May the pledge of everlasting redemption, which we have 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 the same Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.