Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza was a man who brought peace and crushed lies wherever he went.
So much so that when he was assigned to be bishop of his native city, Vicenza, the people wanted to elect him as their ruler too!
His skillful preaching countered the heresy of Manichaeism, which taught that good and evil are forces fighting for dominance in the world and that God and the devil are equally “god.”
Immediately after ordination, Bartholomew was sent to Lombardy to preach against the heretics who were leading others away from the true faith.
He was so effective that Pope Gregory IX appointed him Master of the Sacred Palace, making him the Pope’s personal theologian.
This was a break from tradition because usually only Dominicans got this role.
He wasn’t just an inspired preacher, he also had great leadership skills.
He even founded a military order of knights to establish civil order throughout Italy.
The Militia of Jesus Christ didn’t just help Bartholomew fight heresy, it bound the nobility more closely to the Church.
As with everyone who wants to preach the truth, Bartholomew started making enemies.
He continued, however, to preach diligently, bringing peace to all he met.
When I first became a preacher at the Feast in Dubai, I was more fearful than excited.
It was overwhelming to know I’d be proclaiming the faith, not only to fellow Catholics, but even to non-believers and other Christians.
Reflecting on his life, I know that Bartholomew encountered the “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
In the course of following Jesus more closely, we will meet opposition and obstacles, just as he did.
But like Blessed Bartholomew, may we be assured that we are not alone in our walk of faith.
1. Do I proclaim my faith boldly? How so?
1. In this difficult time in history, what is God calling you to do?
References for further reading:
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