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St Bartholomew

St Bartholomew's name appears on the three lists of the Apostles given in the Gospels of St Matthew, St Mark and St Luke, and in each list he is associated with St Philip. But beyond the fact that he was an Apostle, we have no further certain information about him. St John does not mention the name Bartholomew at all, but he does state, as we have seen, that Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus. this, coupled with the fact that the other evangelists always associate Philip with Bartholomew in their lists, makes it probable that Bartholomew is the same person as Nathanael.

In summing up the popular traditions concerning St batholomew, the Roman Martyrology states that he preached in India and then went to Greater Armenia. Here, after many conversions, he was flayed alive and beheaded at the command of King Astyages at Albanopolis, on the west coast of the Caspian Sea. It is indeed possible that St Bartholomew preached and died in Armenia as the tradition of later historians of that country maintains.

Eusebius writes that St Pantaenus, in the Third Century, found in India some who had knowledge of Christ and that they showed him a copy of St Matthew's Gospel in Hebrew which, they held, had been brought there by St Bartholomew when he came to preach. The early writers, however, used the name "India" quite indiscriminately, and it is most probable that the "India" visited by St Pantaenus was Ethiopia or Arabia. Legend attributes the most extraordinary journeyings t St Bartholomew's relics. At present, his alleged relics are venerated chiefly at Benevento and in the church of St Bartholomew-in-the-Tiber at Rome.

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