St. Bartholomew the Apostle

Bartholomew was one of the disciples of Jesus, who is also sometimes identified as Nathaniel. The scriptures do not say much about him, but tradition says that he took the gospel east. He is known for planting Christianity in India, where he had great success. He is also celebrated in Armenia as the Patron saint. It was there he was martyred for converting the Armenian king to Christianity. Tradition says he was skinned alive and many depictions, like Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, show him in heaven holding his skin over his arm like a fancy coat.

For much of Christian history, the eastern church that he helped found was larger than the Western church. However, with the advance of Islam, much of that rich Christian history is now lost or forgotten. To celebrate Bartholomew’s Indian influence we are making a classic dish of India, Chicken Tikka Masala.

Pictured Above: The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew by Jusepe de Ribera, 1634; oil on canvas; 104 x 113 cm (40 15/16 x 44 1/2 in.) framed: 134.6 x 143.8 x 10.2 cm (53 x 56 5/8 x 4 in.); Housed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, USA.