On the back of this icon is a note "St.
Bartholomy from Meteora" however the spelling of this saint's
name varies. Other variations include Barthelemy and Bartholomew.The
literal meaning of the name in Hebrew is "son of the furrors;
a plowman." Bartholomew is not his given name, but it is
a name derived from his father's name. "Thomai" is
his his father's name and "bar" means "son of."
He is sometimes called Nathaniel and is known as one of the Twelve
There is also no record of Bartholomew's association with Meteora
in Greece. Most likely this icon came from Meteora or somewhere
in the area, and the note does not directly relate to the saint's
He was born in Cana of Galilee. After
the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, much
responsibility fell upon Bartholomew and another apostle, Philip,
to preach the Gospel. They experienced much hardship, stoned
and imprisoned during their journey. In the city of Hieropolis,
they vanquished a giant viper through the power of their prayers,
which the pagans worshiped as a god. Their teachings were confirmed
through many miracles.
Bartholomew went to India and translated
the Gospel of Matthew into their language. He also traveled to
the country of Greater Armenia and healed the daughter of King
Polymios. Afterward, Polymios and his family accepted Baptism
and people all over their country followed their example. Then
Bartholomew was seized by the king's brother Astiagus, who crucified
him upside down. However he did not denounce his faith. In the
end he endured great torture and was beheaded.
Hallick, M. P. (1984) The Book of Saints. Mineapolis,
Minnesota: Light and Life Publishing Company. p. 24.
Sanidopoulos, J. (2010, June 11) "Holy
Apostle Bartholomew of the Twelve." Mystagogy Resource
Center. An International Orthodox Christian Ministry. https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/search?q=bartholomew