First, a little history. From James Kiefer's Christian Biographies:
The name "Bartholomew" appears in the New Testament only on lists of the names of the twelve apostles. This list normally is given as six pairs, and the third pair in each of the Synoptics is "Philip and Bartholomew" (M 10:3; P 3:18; L 6:14; but A 1:15).
We have no certain information about Bartholomew's later life. Some writers, including the historian Eusebius of Caesarea (now Har Qesari, 32:30 N 34:54 E, near Sedot Yam), say that he preached in India. The majority tradition, with varying details, is that Bartholomew preached in Armenia, and was finally skinned alive and beheaded to Albanus or Albanopolis (now Derbent, 42:03 N 48:18 E) on the Caspian Sea. His emblem in art is a flaying knife. The flayed Bartholomew can be seen in Michelangelo's Sistine painting of the Last Judgement. He is holding his skin. The face on the skin is generally considered to be a self-portrait of Michelangelo.
And now for some fun:
In medieval England, a famous fair was held in Englad, St. Bartholonew's Day Fair on the grounds of St. Bartholmew's monastery and hospital. It had its beginnings in the 12th centurey under Henry I. Johanna Bogle, on her show "Feasts & Seasons", suggests making fun "fair food" like carmel apples. You could go all-out and make real carmel apples (YUM!) or make (or buy) a simple caramel dip for sliced apples. A little bit more about the history of the fair and how caramel (or toffee) apples came to be associated with St. Bartholomew's Day.
Also, since Saint Bartholomew is believed to have gone to Armenia, and is known as "Apostle to Armenia" it might be fun to enjoy an Armenian dish or two: here are some recipes. And here (see the sidebar for a list of recipes).
Do you have any other ideas for St Bartholomew's? Leave a comment and share!