The Holy Apostle Bartholomew.

Commemorated June 11 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

He was one of the Twelve Great Apostles. It is generally agreed that Bartholomew and Nathaniel are one and the same person. He was a companion of the Apostle Philip and his sister, the virgin Mariamna - and for some time of St John the Theologian preaching the Gospel in Asia, then in India and finally in Armenia, where he died a martyr. In Hierapolis, the holy apostles by their prayers killed a great snake which had been kept in a temple and deified by the pagans. In this same town, they restored the sight of one Stachius, who had been blind for forty years. This roused the mob against them, and Philip and Bartholomew were crucified, Barthlomew upside down. At this there was an earthquake, in which the evil judges and many of the people perished. Seeing this as a punishment from God, many ran to take the apostles down from their crosses, but Philip was already dead although Bartholomew was still alive. After that, Bartholomew went to India, where he preached and translated the Gospel of Matthew into the Indian language. After that, he moved to Armenia, where he cured the king's daughter of madness. But the king's envious brother, Astyages, took the apostle of God and crucified him, then had him flayed and beheaded in the Armenian town of Ourbanopolis. His body was buried by Christians in a leaden coffin. When many miracles had been wrought over his relics, pagans took the coffin and threw it into the sea. But the sea carried the coffin to the island of Lipara, where the bishop, Agathon, who had been warned by revelation in a dream, was waiting for it and buried it in the church. St Bartholomew appeared to St Joseph the Hymnographer in church one day, robed in white, and blessed him with the Gospels to sing spiritual songs, saying: 'Let streams of heavenly wisdom flow from thy tongue!' He also appeared to the Emperor Anastasius (491-518), and told him that he would protect the newly-built town of Dara. Later, the relics of this apostle were translated to Benevento, and then to Rome. Great and wondrous miracles have been wrought over them.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK





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