An excerpt from
SUNDAYS, HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
THE ECCLESIASTICAL YEAR
REV. LEONARD GOFFINE,
PRIEST OF THE ORDER OF PREMONSTRATENSIANS,
EDITED AND ENLARGED BY REV. GEORGE OTT, DEAN
WITH THE APPROBATION OF THE RIGHT REV.
BISHOP OF RATISBON.
TRANSLATED FROM THE NEWEST GERMAN EDITION
REV. GERARD M. PILZ, O.S.B.
Instruction for the Feast
of St. Bartholomew,
artholomew, a native of Cana in Galilee,
is probably that Nathaniel whom Philip,
when called by Christ, took with him to
the Lord. When called by Christ to be an
apostle, Bartholomew left all at once, fol-
lowed Him, and witnessed His suﬀerings
and death, His resurrection and ascension.
When he had received the Holy Ghost, he preached the gospel ﬁrst
to the Jews, and gaining but little fruit from their stubbornness,
turned to the heathens in India, where he carried a copy of the gos-
pel of St. Matthew; from India St. Bartholomew went to Phrygia
and Lycaonia, everywhere preaching the faith of the cross, com-
ing ﬁnally to Great Armenia, where after gaining a rich harvest for
the faith, he received the crown of martyrdom. In Great Armenia,
he smote with dumbness the devil who had been prophetizing in a
temple of the idols, freed the king’s daughter of an evil spirit, and
converted the king and many of his court to the Christian religion.
Enraged at this, the priests of the idols swore an oath to put him
to death, and at their instigation the saint was killed after frightful
tortures by Astyages, a brother of the converted king and a zealous
idolator. The general belief is, that he was cruciﬁed with his head
downwards, and while still alive the skin stripped from his body.
His sacred relics were brought to Benevent, Italy, in the year 8oq,
and to Rome in q8¸, where they are venerated in a Church dedicated
[The Introit as on the Feast of St. Andrew.]
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. O Almighty and eternal God,
who comfortest Thy people by the sacred and venerable solemnity
of Thy blessed apostle Bartholomew: grant, we beseech Thee, that
we may love what he believed, and practise what he taught. Thro’.
EPISTLE. (:. Cor. xii. z¡–¸:.) Bnr+nnrx: You are the body of
Christ, and members of a member. And God indeed hath set some
in the church, ﬁrst apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors, after
that miracles, then the graces of healings, helps, governments, kinds
of tongues, interpretations of speeches. Are all apostles? Are all
prophets? Are all doctors? Are all workers of miracles? Have all
the grace of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
But be ye zealous for the better gifts.
EXPLANATION. The apostle here gives a beautiful picture of
the holy Church. He teaches, that all faithful Catholics compose
the body of Christ, the universal Church; every true Catholic is,
indeed, a member of a single Church (diocese, congregation), and
this a member of the universal Church. No one is the whole body,
each one is only a member, some members higher than others, su-
periors of the Church, bishops, priests, and preachers, but no one
should raise himself above the others; for as in a body all the mem-
bers are necessary, so all the members of the body of Christ, the
Church, are necessary, though they stand on the lowest step. But
those members of the Church who do not possess the gifts which
the apostle describes, and whomGod has not called to special oﬃce
in His Church, should not seek places and positions which are not
in their vocation, but as every member keeps the place on the body
which is given it, so should every member of the body of Christ,
the Church, keep the place which God has appointed to him, and
work according to his ability for the welfare of the whole Church.
Has God placed you in a farmer’s place? then envy not the nobles
and the oﬃcers; is another more skilful than you and ﬁlls a higher
position? then murmur not: for as all the members of a body can-
not be eyes, so in the moral body of the Church all cannot be in a
high oﬃce or position, but all the members of Christ’s body, all the
faithful of the Church, can be zealous for the more special gifts, for
greater sanctity and perfection, each in his own position, and for a
perfect love of God; for upon this path the king and the beggar may
journey together to eternal life.
GOSPEL. (Luke vi. :z–:q.) A+ +n.+ +ixr: Jesus went out in-
to a mountain to pray, and he passed the whole night in the prayer
of God. And when day was come, he called unto him his disci-
ples: and he chose twelve of them (whom also he named Apostles):
Simon whom he surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brother, James
and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James
the son of Alpheus, and Simon who is called Zelotes, and Jude the
brother of James and Judas Iscariot who was the traitor. And com-
ing down with them, he stood in a plain place, and the company of
his disciples, and a very great multitude of people from all Judea
and Jerusalem, and the sea-coast of Tyre and Sidon, who were come
to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases. And they that were
troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the multitude
sought to touch him, for virtue went out from him, and healed all.
Why did Jesus go out into a mountain to pray?
Because, as St. Bonaventura says, as a mountain is high, so also
must our prayer raise us to God, and fromthe lowvalleys of the tem-
poral life, we must elevate ourselves in all our thoughts and desires
to God, if our prayer is to avail us.
Why did Christ pray in the night?
To teach us that night is the best time for prayer, because every
thing is then quiet and we can better collect our thoughts; also that
we may preserve ourselves by prayer from the snares and tempta-
tions which the devil spreads for us at night; that we should pray
at night for the graces which during the day we have found neces-
sary for ourselves and our neighbor. St. Gregory says, that on this
account Christ was accustomed to pray during the night, and dur-
ing the day to work by teaching and by miracles for the salvation
of souls. For these reasons, prayers are said in monasteries in the
night, as advised by David (Ps. cliii. z.), and it is a commendable
custom for families to say the rosary, a litany, and the night prayer
Why did Christ pray during this particular night?
Because He was to choose His twelve apostles in the morning,
and He, therefore, prayed to His Heavenly Father to give them all
the graces required by the mighty mission. In the same spirit the
Church prays four times during the year, on the Ember days, for
those who are dedicated to the priesthood and to receive holy orders,
as Christ prayed and as the apostles fasted and prayed before conse-
crating Paul and Barnabas. (Acts xiii. ¸.) Besides this, the Church
has appointed the fast at Ember time, and requires the faithful to
ask with prayer and fasting for pious priests, for on the priesthood
depends the temporal and eternal welfare or grief of the faithful.
Let us pray fervently and often, that God may give us zealous and
Why did Christ on this day call those twelve apostles, who before
were only disciples?
Because the apostolic dignity is the highest after Christ’s, and
He desired, that they should ﬁrst, as disciples, prepare themselves
for it. He who wishes to teach, must ﬁrst learn. No one should enter
into an oﬃce for which he is not ﬁtted.
What beautiful example is given us in our Saviour’s coming down
from the mountain, and in the conduct of the people awaiting
The Saviour’s descending shows us His goodness and kindness
to the poor and lowly, and to the sick. He especially teaches the
great ones of the earth, howthey should kindly descend to their sub-
jects, the weak and poor, hear their complaints, and relieve them.
The conduct of the people who had come to hear Christ and sought
to touch Him, because virtue went out from Him, curing them,
teaches us ﬁrst to seek the salvation of our soul, the voice of Je-
sus, and then in our physical needs to seek help from Him, sure to
PETITION. O blessed Apostle Bartholomew! who left all to
follow Christ, even giving thy life for Him, pray for us, that we also
may give up all for Christ that interferes with our love for Him, that
we may imitate Him, and be eternally happy. Amen.