St. Bartholomew, also known as Bartholomew the Apostle, was one of the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus Christ in the New Testament of the Bible. He is mentioned in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and the Acts of the Apostles. The name “Bartholomew” is believed to be a patronymic, indicating that his father’s name was likely “Tolmai” or “Ptolemy.”
In the Gospel accounts, Bartholomew is usually listed alongside Philip, another apostle. The Gospel of John refers to him as “Nathanael,” who was brought to Jesus by Philip. After meeting Jesus, Nathanael becomes a disciple and is traditionally identified with St. Bartholomew.
According to Christian tradition, after Jesus’ ascension, the apostles dispersed to various regions to spread the message of Christianity. St. Bartholomew is said to have undertaken missionary journeys, preaching in different areas, including Armenia, India, and possibly Ethiopia.
St. Bartholomew’s martyrdom is widely recorded in history and tradition. He is said to have been martyred for his faith, suffering a gruesome death. Different accounts suggest that he was either flayed alive (skin removed from his body) or crucified upside down. The exact circumstances of his death may vary depending on the source, but the common belief is that he died a martyr’s death.
St. Bartholomew’s feast day is celebrated on August 24th in the Roman Catholic Church and on June 11th in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He is considered the patron saint of tanners, leatherworkers, and those involved in the leather industry due to the nature of his martyrdom. Throughout history, he has been venerated and honored as one of the prominent early followers of Jesus Christ.