Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Share On

Memory of the apostle Bartholomew from Canaan in Galilee. His body is kept in the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Tiberine Island in Rome; this church has become a memorial of the "new martyrs." Memory of Jerry Essan Masslo, a South African refugee who came to Italy and was welcomed by the Community of St. Gideon. He was killed by robbers. With him we remember all refugees.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 1,45-51

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 'We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.'

Nathanael said to him, 'From Nazareth? Can anything good come from that place?' Philip replied, 'Come and see.'

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, 'There, truly, is an Israelite in whom there is no deception.'

Nathanael asked, 'How do you know me?' Jesus replied, 'Before Philip came to call you, I saw you under the fig tree.'

Nathanael answered, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.'

Jesus replied, 'You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You are going to see greater things than that.'

And then he added, 'In all truth I tell you, you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending over the Son of man.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today, the Church celebrates the apostle Saint Bartholomew. Originally from Cana in Galilee, the fourth Gospel identifies him with the name Nathanael (gift of God). His friend Philip calls him and brings him to Jesus, who sees in him an "Israelite in whom there is no deceit." The encounter with Jesus is decisive for him. He changes his life, leaves his house and family, and begins to follow Jesus, who will call him to be one of the Twelve. Tradition says that after Pentecost he went to preach the Gospel in India and Armenia, where he died a martyr, skinned alive. His body lies in the Roman Basilica of Saint Bartholomew on the Tiberine Island, which has become the sanctuary of the New Martyrs of the twentieth century. The Gospel passage that we heard tells us of Nathanael’s encounter with Jesus. Philip, who had already met the young prophet from Nazareth, tells Nathanael about his extraordinary force. Nathanael objects with the typical realism of an honest man: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Nathanael’s honesty, which is even praised by Jesus, is not enough to save him. Only his encounter with the prophet of Nazareth illuminates the heart of this just man and makes him feel that he has been deeply understood. Jesus promises him that he will see much greater things than what he just saw. That is his ambition for his little group of followers. They may not even realize it, but the Lord has entrusted to them his very mission. This is why he will later tell Peter and all those who follow him that they will receive one hundred times more than what they left behind.