Saint Bartholomew, also known as Nathanael, is one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. He is believed to have been born in Cana of Galilee and is first mentioned in the Bible in the Gospel of John, where he is described as a friend of the apostle Philip.
Saint Bartholomew is the patron saint of tanners, leather workers, and bookbinders. He is also associated with the healing of skin diseases.
One of the major events in Saint Bartholomew's life is his calling by Jesus as one of his apostles. According to the Bible, Jesus saw Nathanael sitting under a fig tree and said, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Nathanael responded by saying, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel." From that moment, Nathanael became one of Jesus' closest followers, and is believed to have accompanied him on many of his journeys.
It is believed that Saint Bartholomew preached the gospel in India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt and Armenia. He was martyred by being tragically flayed alive in Albanopolis of Armenia. The martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew is said to have taken place during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan.
Saint Bartholomew was canonized by the Catholic Church, and his feast day is celebrated on August 24th. He is also commemorated on the same day in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion.
In art, Saint Bartholomew is often depicted holding a knife, which is a reference to the manner of his martyrdom. He is also sometimes shown holding a book, which symbolizes his role as an apostle and a teacher of the faith.