Feast Day : August 24 (in Rome); August 25 (in Echternach and Cambrai); June 11 (in the East); June 13 (in Persia)
Patronage: bookbinders; butchers; cobblers; cornchandlers; dyers; glovers; Florentine salt and cheese merchants; furriers; leather workers; against nervous diseases; plasterers; shoemakers; tailors, tanners; trappers; against twitching; vinegrowers; whiteners; Armenia
Also known as: Nathanael bar Tolomai, Nathaniel
Bartholomew was a native of Cana who was introduced to Jesus by St. Philip and was called to the Apostolate, but beyond that nothing certain is known about him. He is described in various traditions as having preached in Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Lycaonia, Phrygia, Armenia, and on the shores of the Black Sea. Bartholomew is believed to have died at Albanopolis, Armenia, martyred on the order of Astyges for having converted his brother, Polymius, King of Armenia. According to the Roman Martyrology, he was flayed alive and beheaded, though other accounts say he was flayed and then crucified head-down. His relics are thought to have been interred on the island of Lipara,whence they were translated to Benevento, Italy, and later to Rome. They rest today in the Church of St.Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber. In the 11th century, King Canute’s wife, Queen Emma, is said to have presented one of his arms to the cathedral at Canterbury in England.Bartholomew’s symbol is a tanner’s knife. In art, he is represented as a bearded man holding a book or a tanner’s knife and a human skin. Sometimes the skin he holds is his own.