The CRT Blog

The Skinless Saint

Yesterday was the feast of St. Bartholomew and, well, the middle school boy in me has always thought Bartholomew was SUPER COOL – not just because he was one of the 12 apostles and gave his life for Christ, but because of all the gruesome paintings and statues of him! 😁

You see, Bartholomew was martyred in a rather unique way… He was skinned alive.

And since martyrs are often depicted being martyred (and/or with the instruments they were killed with), there have been quite a few awesome and rather intense works of art featuring this saint.

Care to see some of these famous paintings and statues? Check ’em out below (but don’t say I didn’t warn you!). 😉

👇 👇 👇

(Click images to enlarge)

Pretty gruesome, huh?

But also pretty darn cool! 😊

During my 14 years in the classroom I found that saints like Bartholomew (those that endured tremendous trials and/or suffering) tended to not only be intriguing to my students, but also incredibly attractive and magnetic.

The shock value of martyrdom might play a role in this. And the sheer amount of courage on display is certainly something my students always admired as well. But I think the attraction to saints like Bartholomew, Perpetua, Sebastian, Maria Goretti, Miguel Pro, and José Sánchez del Rio (just to name a few) is due mostly to the ability of these saints to show us the beauty of rising above the boring comfort and mediocrity so commonplace today and living passionately for that which is eternal.

“The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness.”

– Pope Benedict XVI

So, if you’re looking for a springboard into the lives of the saints or want to kickstart a deep discussion about discipleship, sacrifice, or even the meaning of life, consider using the amazing martyrs to help you out.

And if you really need to get your students’ attention, start by showing them some pictures of St. Bartholomew!

St. Bartholomew and all holy martyrs, pray for us!


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