THE HOLY APOSTLE BARTHOLOMEW

August 25

From the Prologue

Today commemorates the translation of the relics of St. Bartholomew, although his main feast is celebrated on June 11. When this great apostle was crucified in Albanopolis [Derbend] in Armenia, Christians removed his body and honorably buried it in a lead sarcophagus. When numerous miracles occurred over the grave of the apostle, especially healings of the sick, because of which the number of Christians increased, the pagans then took the sarcophagus containing the relics of Bartholomew and tossed it into the sea. At the same time they also threw four more sarcophagi into the sea containing the relics of four martyrs: Papian, Lucian, Gregory and Acacius. However, by God's providence, the sarcophagi did not sink but were carried by the current and floated: Acacius to the town of Askalon, Gregory to Calabria, Lucian to Messina, Papian to the other side of Sicily and Bartholomew to the island of Lipara. By some mysterious revelation Agathon, the Bishop of Lipara, learned of the approaching relics of the holy Apostle Bartholomew to Lipara. Agathon, with the clergy and people, came to the shore to receive the sarcophagus with great joy. On that occasion, many healings of the sick occurred from the relics of the holy apostle. The relics were placed in the church of St. Bartholomew and there they reposed until the time of Theophilus the Iconoclast about the year 839 A.D. and since the Muslims threatened Lipara, the relics of the apostle were translated to Benevento. Thus, the Lord glorified His apostle by miracles both during his life and after his death.





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