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Offline Matthew

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St. Bartholomew
« on: August 25, 2008, 08:31:32 AM »
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  •             St. Bartholomew was chosen by Christ one of his twelve apostles,
    when he formed that sacred college. * He was with them a witness of our
    Lord's glorious resurrection, and his other principal actions on earth, and
    was instructed in his divine school, and from his sacred mouth. He is
    mentioned among the other disciples who were met together joining in devout
    prayer after Christ's ascension and he received the Holy Ghost with the
    rest. Having been prepared by the example and instructions of our Redeemer,
    and by humble and fervent prayer, he was replenished, in the descent of the
    Holy Ghost, with an heroic spirit of humility, mortification, contempt of
    the world, compunction, prayer, holy zeal, and burning charity. Thus armed
    and filled with the eminent spirit of all virtues, twelve apostles converted
    many great nations to Christ, and carried the sound of his name into the
    remotest corners of the earth. How comes it that nowadays the apostolic
    labors of so many ministers of the divine word produce so little fruit? One
    great reason of this difference is, their neglect to obtain of God a large
    share in the spirit of the apostles. Their success and the influence of
    their words upon the hearts of men depend not upon human prudence,
    eloquence, and abilities; the principal instrument of God's grace in
    multiplying the fruit of his word in the hearts of men, is the spirit with
    which it is announced by those whom he honors with the ministry. Their
    sincere disinterestedness, humility, and overflowing zeal and charity give,
    as it were, a living voice to that divine faith and virtue which they
    preach; and those who take upon them this charge are doubly bound to prepare
    themselves for it by strenuously laboring to obtain of Christ this perfect
    spirit in the sanctification of their own souls, not to profane their holy
    ministry, and destroy the work of God which is committed to their charge.

                St. Bartholomew being eminently qualified by the divine grace to
    discharge the functions of an apostle, carried the gospel through the most
    barbarous countries of the East, penetrating into the remoter Indies, as
    Eusebius * and other ancient writers testify. By the name of Indies, the
    ancients sometimes mean only Arabia and Persia; but here they speak of
    proper India; for they make mention of the Brachmans of that country, famous
    over the whole world for their pretended skill in philosophy, and in the
    superstitious mysteries of their idolatry. Eusebius relates that St.
    Pantaenus, about the beginning of the third century, going into the Indies
    to confute their Brachmans, found there some who still retained the
    knowledge of Christ, and showed him a copy of St. Matthew's gospel in
    Hebrew, which they assured him that St. Bartholomew had brought into those
    parts when he planted the faith among them. This apostle returned again into
    the northwest parts of Asia; and met St. Philip at Hierapolis in Phrygia.
    Hence he traveled into Lyaconia, where St. Chrysostom affirms that he
    instructed the people in the Christian faith; but we know not even the names
    of many of the countries to which he preached. We are struck with
    astonishment when we call to mind how many prisons the apostles sanctified,
    how many dangers they braved, how many vast regions they traveled over, and
    how many nations they conquered to Christ; but if we admire their courage,
    zeal, and labors, we have still greater reason to wonder and be confounded
    at our supine sloth and insensibility, who do nothing for the enlargement of
    God's kingdom in others, or even for the sanctification of our own souls. It
    is not owing to the want of means or of strength through the divine grace,
    but to the want of courage and sincere resolution that we do so little; that
    we find no opportunities for exercising charity towards our neighbor, no
    time for prayer and recollection of spirit no strength for the practice of
    fasting and penance. If we examine into the truth, we shall find that we
    blind ourselves by vain pretenses, and that sloth, tepidity, and
    indifference have many hindrances, which fervor, resolution, industry, and
    contrivance find ways readily to remove. The apostles, who did and suffered
    so much for God, still sincerely called themselves unprofitable servants,
    made no account of their labors, and were altogether taken up with the
    thoughts of what they owed to God, and how infinitely they yet fell short of
    this. True love exerts itself beyond what seems possible, yet counts all it
    does as nothing.

                St. Bartholomew's last removal was into Great Armenia, where,
    preaching in a place obstinately addicted to the worship of Idols, he was
    crowned with a glorious martyrdom, as St. Gregory of Tours mentions. * The
    modern Greek historians say, that he was condemned by the governor of
    Albanopolis to be crucified. Others affirm, that he was flayed alive, which
    might well enough consist with his crucifixion; this double punishment being
    in use, as we learn from Plutarch and Arrian, not only in Egypt, but also
    among the Persians, the next neighbors to these Armenians, who might very
    easily borrow from them this piece of barbarous cruelty. Theodorus Lector
    says, that the emperor Anastasius having built the city of Duras in
    Mesopotamia in 508, caused the relics of St. Bartholomew to be removed
    thither. Saint Gregory of Tours assures us that, before the end of the sixth
    age they were carried to the isle of Lipari near Sicily. Anastasius the
    Librarian informs us * that, in 809 they were translated from Lipari to
    Benevento; from whence they were conveyed to Rome in 983, as Baronius
    relates. Ever since that time they lie deposited in a porphyry monument
    under the high altar, in the famous church of St. Bartholomew, in the isle
    of the Tiber, in Rome. An arm of this apostle's body was sent a present by
    the bishop of Benevento to St. Edward the Confessor, and by him bestowed on
    the cathedral church of Canterbury. Among the many excellent statues which
    adorn the cathedral at Milan, none is more justly admired than one of St.
    Bartholomew flayed alive, representing the muscles, veins, and other parts
    with an inimitable softness and justness, the work of Chr. Cibo. The feast
    of St. Bartholomew in ancient Martyrologies is marked on the 24th of August
    in the West, but among the Greeks on the 11th of June.

                The characteristical virtue of the apostles was zeal for the
    divine glory; the first property of the love of God. A soldier is always
    ready to defend the honor of his prince, and a son that of his father; and
    can a Christian say he loves God, who is indifferent to his honor? Or can
    charity towards his neighbor be lodged in his breast, if he can see him in
    danger of perishing, and not endeavor, at least by tears and prayers, to
    avert his misfortune. Every faithful servant of God makes the first petition
    which our Lord teaches us in his divine prayer, the object of his perpetual
    ardent desires and tears, that the God of his heart, and of all creatures,
    may be known, perfectly loved, and faithfully served by all; and he never
    ceases earnestly to invite, with the royal prophet, all creatures with their
    whole strength, and with all their powers, to magnify the Lord with him; but
    then it is the first part of his care and prayer that he may himself
    perfectly attain to this happiness of devoting to God all the affections of
    his soul, and all the actions of his life; and it is to him a subject of
    perpetual tears and compunction that he should have ever offended so good a
    God, and so kind a Redeemer.
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    Offline Hobbledehoy

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    St. Bartholomew
    « Reply #1 on: August 29, 2011, 12:42:49 AM »
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  • I am a bit late for the Feast Day of the holy Apostle St. Bartholomew, but here is a very beautiful holy card I found in a book once:

    May the intercession of St. Bartholomew avail us unto the grace to lend ear and earnestly practice the doctrines of St. Paul, shearing ourselves of our flesh:

    If you have heard Christ and have been taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, lay you away, according to the old conversation the old man, which is corrupted according to the desires of error. (Eph. ch. iv. 21, 22)

    But do ye put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in concupiscences (Rom. ch. xiii. 14)

    That we may imitate the interior life of the Apostles and attain to the apices of grace and glory as Holy Mother Church sings in this mysterious and beautiful Responsory .found in the Common Office of Apostles in Paschaltide in the Roman Breviary:

    ℟. Her Nazarites are become refulgent, alleluia: they have given forth splendour unto God, alleluia: * And like unto milk have they been curdled together, alleluia, alleluia.
       V. Whiter than snow, purer than milk, ruddier than ancient ivory, more beautiful than sapphire. * And like unto milk have they been curdled together, alleluia, alleluia. (Lam. ch. iv., 7; cf. Job ch. x., 10; cf. Ps. cxviii. 70.)

    Please ignore all that I have written regarding sedevacantism.


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