ByzCatholic, Feasts

Bartholomew and Barnabas

The Holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas

On June 11th we commemorate the Holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas. (And this year, also the Holy Eucharist). So to help us celebrate, let’s go through what we know about these two saints, and their prayers and tropars.

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Bartholomew is one of the 12 Apostles. There is a strong possibility that he is the same person as Nathaniel. If this is true, then his full name is Nathaniel Bartholomew. We surmise this from the fact that “Bar” means “son of.” Other evidence suggesting that this saint’s full name is Nathaniel Bartholomew is the fact that John lists Nathaniel as one of the 12 apostles. Also, in the synoptic gospels Bartholomew is always paired with Phillip, whereas in John’s gospel, Nathaniel is always paired with Phillip.


Barnabas is one of the 70 disciples of Jesus, which is why in the East we also call him an apostle. Sometimes, we call Barnabas the foremost of the seventy. We know he came from a wealthy family. Originally, he was named Joseph. We also know he was a Levite.

Paul and Barnabas worked together to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles. Therefore we can read about the actions of Barnabas in scripture. Check out the following passages: Acts 4:34-37 (Barnabas sells everything he has and gives it all to the Apostles). Then there is Acts 9:26-28 (Barnabas introduces the Paul as a new convert to the apostles). And finally, there is Acts 11:22-26 (Barnabas on Mission).

Barnabas died during an attack by a mob. Tradition is that St. Mark took care of Barnabas’ burial.

Prayers and Tropars

Troparion: (tone 1)

Receiving a fiery tongue in the power of the Holy Spirit, to all you preached the Word that has come in the flesh. For His sake you, O Bartholomew, were beheaded, and Barnabus endured stoning. Together you form an adornment for the choir of Apostles. And so we feast your memorial. Therefore we ask you to pray to Christ our God to grant us forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion: (tone 4)

You appeared to the world like a brilliant sun, O Apostle Bartholomew. And with rays of your teaching and awesome miracles, you lead to Light all those who honour you.

Kontakion: (tone 3)

You became the Lord’s true servant, O Barnabus, as you were shown to be the foremost of the seventy. With Paul you set your teaching in a clear light, making known to all the Saviour who is Christ. Therefore we celebrate your memory with hymns, O apostle.

Prokeimenon: (tone 8)

Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, and their words into the ends of the world

Verse: the heavens tell the glory of God, and the firmament declares the work of His hand.

The Byzantine Life

Thank you for checking out this week’s article. If you haven’t already, you can read our article on Sts. Peter and Paul, or on Celebrating Prazynyks.

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