The Church has set aside saints’ days, (such as St. Bartholomew) in honor of the first martyrs and those mentioned in the Gospel as most nearly connected with our Blessed Lord in the work of establishing His Church and in honor of all those who surrender their lives for the Lord’s use. Saints’ days were established for us to study and emulate their virtues and thank God for their examples. It’s important to note—we don’t pray to the saints or address them directly in devotion, but we may ask our Heavenly Father for our share of their prayers in Heaven. The first record we have of a saints’ day traces to the second century, although it probably existed earlier and grew from ancient Christians meeting at martyrs’ graves on their death anniversaries to celebrate their Godly virtues and bless God for their pure and heroic lives. The great truth for us in observance of saints’ days is that the saints on Earth are fellow-citizens with the saints in paradise, and all, whether living or dead, are members of one great Heavenly parokia, (parish)—God’s family—the Communion of Saints. Like Christians we meet, our spirits can “bear witness” with the saints because we resonate on Christ’s spiritual frequency—one Faith and one Baptism for the remission of sin—rewired to our Lord’s specification. And, we can take joy that we’re empowered—just as St. Bartholomew was—to preach His Gospel, with hearts that have “no guile” as Jesus said of Bartholomew—regardless of the cost. And, like him, when our hearts have no other agenda, we have a great company with us to God’s purpose in our lives. For the Kingdom!
Collect for Saint Bartholomew the Apostle
O ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst give to thine Apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word; Grant, we beseech thee, unto thy Church, to love that Word which he believed, and both to preach and receive the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Posted on August 24, 2014
by Fr. Chip Harper filed under