|St. Bartholomew depicted by Michelangelo|
Outside of mentions in the Gospels and Acts the trail of authoritative evidence goes cold. According to an ancient apocryphal work known as the Acts of Philip, Bartholomew escaped persecution in Jerusalem and went to Armenia to preach. Armenia claims Bartholomew as the founding apostle of their Church. Church history in Iran says that during Bartholomew’s 16 year ministry in Armenia he also came and evangelized them. The church father known to us as Jerome says that he evangelized India, but back in the day India was considered to start at Iran so there is a good chance this is a duplicate tradition. Two accounts are given of his martyrdom, one is that he was drown and the other is that he was flayed alive and then crucified in Armenia. This is depicted in Michelangelo’s fresco of The Last Judgment. In the 10th century, his remains were taken to Rome and placed in a Church dedicated to him.