Bartholomew is listed among the apostles in the New Testament. Some believe, he is identical with Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, mentioned in John’s gospel (John 1:45-49; 21:2).
Otherwise, very little is known about his life. According to a tradition, he worked in Persia, India, and Georgia, where he suffered martyrdom – he was skinned alive. Therefore, his is often represented as holding his skin.
The Byzantine liturgy commemorates the transfer of his remains to the island Lipari (off the Sicilian coast) and to Benevent (west of Naples, Italy) on August 28. Part of these relicts came to Rome around the turn of the millennium and a church on the Tiberian Island was dedicated to saint Bartholomew in 998. His skull is preserved in the Cathedral in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.