St. Bartholomew is one of the 12 apostles who followed Jesus. He is listed in Acts and Matthew, Mark, and Luke as one of the apostles, but is otherwise not mentioned as Bartholomew in the New Testament. Catholic tradition identifies him as Nathaniel, mentioned in the Gospel of John. Philip introduces his friend Nathaniel to Jesus, who says that he is a “true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” 

Bartholomew was a good, honest, and just man who spent much of his time in prayer and reflection. He knew that Jesus was the Son of God and the King of Israel, and chose to follow him. Although nothing is known for sure about his life after Jesus ascended to Heaven, it is traditionally believed that he went to preach in the East, and died in Armenia as a martyr, being flayed alive for having won converts for the Lord.