The Apostle St. Bartholomew, also known as Nathanael, is celebrated with the Feast of St. Bartholomew on August 24. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Truth so he can reject lies and live in the Truth of Christ and by growing in the Virtue of Piety so he can seek the intercession of the Saints.

Commentary

After Jesus recruits the Apostles Peter, Andrew, James (Mt 4:21-22) and John, He sees Philip and simply says, “Follow Me”, and Philip follows. Quickly, Philip becomes convinced about Jesus’ true hidden identity as the Messiah and tells Nathanael (also called Bartholomew). Nathanael is skeptical, perhaps because Nazareth was a small “backwater” town and because the Messiah was not expected to come from Nazareth. Philip persists, saying, “Come and see”, the exact phrase Jesus used when He called Andrew and John the Evangelist. 

As Nathanael approaches, Jesus mysteriously knows Nathanael and his heart, saying Nathanael is a true straight-shooting Israelite (no guile); in this, Jesus confirms His call to Israel. Stunned, Nathanael wonders how Jesus knows him. Jesus’ simple, but supernatural, vision of Nathanael under the fig tree convinces Nathanael; Jesus’ words tie together multiple prophecies the “true Israelite” who knows the Old Testament would recognize, including that Nazareth shares the Hebrew root word neser, meaning “branch” from which the Messiah will spring. Now fully comprehending Jesus’ identity due to His supernatural vision and its prophetic meaning, the formerly skeptical Nathanael ecstatically reveals Jesus is both the Son of God and King of Israel. A great consolation to Nathanael, Jesus affirms Nathanael’s words and prophesizes he will see even greater miracles. 

After witnessing Christ’s Ascension, tradition holds St. Bartholomew/Nathanael preached the Gospel in India and later in Armenia where he was flayed alive and then crucified upside down. St. Bartholomew was venerated for centuries at the Monastery of St. Bartholomew (ruins are in present day Armenia) which was built on the location where he was martyred; St. Bartholomew’s relics are venerated in various locations in Europe. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be filled with awe at the revelations of Jesus, the Divine Prophet: Jesus is not within sight of Bartholomew/Nathanael but supernaturally “sees” he has been sitting under a tree; He knows the deepest aspects of Bartholomew/Nathanael’s personality; He reveals future supernatural visions of angels which the Apostles will experience; overwhelming in His Charisma and Power, Bartholomew/Nathanael is stunned, recognizing the supernatural nature of Jesus’ words, instantly calling Him, the Son of God; Divine Knowledge, Jesus knows Bartholomew will become one of His 12 Apostles, who will go on to evangelize the world, and give his life in martyrdom for Jesus. 

Reject lies and live the Truth of Christ

Realize: Today’s widely believed lie that there is no objective truth and that every person can subjectively define their own “truth” has led to increasing insanity and division; the Son of God proclaims that He alone is Truth (Jn 14:6) and compliments St. Bartholomew/Nathanael because he possesses the Virtue of Truth (no guile). 

Believe: Reflect upon The 8th Commandment (CCC 2504-2513).

Pray: St. Bartholomew, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Truth (a part of Justice) so I reject lies, I seek to imitate your truthfulness, and I always speak and teach the fullness of the Truth of Christ and His Holy Catholic Church with charity.

Seek the intercession of the Saints

Realize: In the Communion of Saints, every Catholic man is blessed to be able to strive to imitate and seek the intercession of the Saints, the greatest human beings who have ever lived. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Communion of the Saints (CCC 946-962, 2683) and Patron Saints (CCC 2156, 2165).

Pray: St. Bartholomew, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I honor the Saints and I develop a veneration for those Saints who can help in my own particular struggles in the Spiritual Combat.