The Holy Apostle Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Great Apostles. After the Ascension of Christ, he preached in Asia with the Apostle Philip (and his sister Mariamma) and St. John the Theologian. He later preached in India and then Armenia where he was martyred. Prior to India, he was crucified upside down in Hierapolis with Apostle Philip for causing the death of a great serpent the people worshipped and healing people through prayer. He was removed from the cross during a great earthquake because the people thought God was judging them; St. Philip had already reposed.
He then went to India, translated the Gospel of St. Matthew and cured the Armenian king's daughter of insanity; but the king's envious brother had him crucified, skinned him and finally beheaded him.
Christians buried his body but because of the miracles happening over his relics the pagans threw his coffin into the sea. The coffin ended up at the island of Lipara where Bishop Agathon—who met it via a revelation in a dream—buried it in a church. St. Bartholomew appeared to St. Joseph the Hymnopgrapher and blessed him that he might be able to sing spiritual hymns saying, 'Let heavenly water of wisdom flow from your tongue!' He also appeared to Emperor Anastasius (491-518) and told him that he would protect the new town of Dara. Later his relics were translated to Rome where miracles continue to occur.
The Church remembers St. Bartholomew on August 25.