Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

To Whatever End

St. Bartholomew, Apostle and Martyr (24 Aug)

There is a lot of confusion about St. Bartholomew. For starters, it seems that "Bartholomew" is actually a Greek corruption of a last name, Bar-Tolmay. Traditions in the East have it that his original given name was Yeshua (in Greek, Jesus) and that in deference to Our Lord, he took a new name. He is always mentioned as being with Philip, though in St. John's Gospel he is called by the new name he seems to have chosen, Nathanael, "God has given". Traditions handed down about St. Bartholomew vary: he went to India and was martyred there; he went to Ethiopia and was martyred there; he went to Armenia and was martyred there by having his skin peeled off before upsidedown crucifixion. For this reason he is the patron saint of tanners, and perhaps taxidermists might have good hope in recourse to him.

All the traditions all agree that he followed the Lord's call to go east and preach the Gospel, and that he laid down his life doing so, wherever he ended. He might therefore also be a good patron saint for those of us who hope to follow the Lord Jesus to whatever end.

St. Bartholomew, pray for us.

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