Saint Bartholomew (1st century)
for August 24
Saint Bartholomew is listed in the Bible as one of the Twelve Apostles. Not much is known about this saint. Some scholars believe him to be the Nathanael who is mentioned in the Gospel of John. The Apostles were tirelessly determined to bear witness to God's truth. While preaching, Saint Bartholomew was captured, flayed, and beheaded on the orders of King Astyages. He is the patron saint of may things, including butchers, tanners, and shoemakers.
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Saint Bartholomew faced a gruesome and horrifying execution. In this, however, he is not alone. Many Christians throughout history faced similarly terrifying deaths. These martyrs, and their love and passion, are to remind us of the power and truth of our Christian faith. Take a moment to meditate on the sacrifice that martyrdom requires. Place yourself in a situation where martyrdom is demanded of you. Experience the full range of thoughts and emotions that this horrible demand elicits.
Dear Jesus, I thank you for the martyrs and the example they have provided. Through their lives, I can see your love for us. Please help me to know even more deeply the full extent of your love for humanity.