Painting by El Greco
It's the feast of St. Bartholomew!
Detail of Michaelangelo's Last Judgement,
w/ skin of St Bartholomew (but using Michaelangelo's features)
Now, there is no getting around it...St. Bartholomew died a grisly death: skinned - literally flayed for his faith. Now that's a martyr! He was also one of the apostles (John 1: 43-51) and clearly, his faith was such that he called people to the truth and away from pagan worship. This very thing made the rulers of the time very angry and obviously frightened at the power of this man, though we all know it was the power of the Truth, to cut through the chaff and smoke of falsehood and evil. So, of course, they had to kill him. We do the same thing today, and it's a story in many of our movies today that rake in the big bucks. But this time, way back when, the gore was real and horrifying. But the faith was strong and true and overrides even the horror. What treasure that truth must be for a mere man to be willing to be skinned alive to uphold it.
Collect (Prayer) of the Day: Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle
Almighty and everlasting God, who gave to your apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach your Word: Grant that your Church may love what he believed and preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
painting by Rembrandt van Rijn
Happy feast day!
St. Bartholomew, pray for us!