St. John and the Romans and St. Bartholomew, all at once

It’s quite a busy day today: there’s John the Baptist, of course, but also the Roman Solstitium, called the dies lampadarum, or “day of torches.” It’s hot in Rome now, just as it must have been then; and, finally, here as well.

But it’s also the feast day of St. Bartholomew, a pretty amazing guy who was so inspired by his vision of St. Cuthbert he decided to live the rest of his life in Cuthbert’s cell on the desolate island of Farne, off the British coast. Unfortunately, he had some interpersonal problems – Brother Ebwin, who was already there, didn’t like his intrusion and bullied him, but he eventually gave up and left. Then another prior came and they fought over food, so Bartholomew himself left until the bishop ordered him back, and he died there, apparently on this date.

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