Bartholomew(Nathanael), A friend of Philip; according to various traditions, preached the Gospel in Ethiopia, India, Persia and Armenia, where he was martyred by being flayed and beheaded; in art, is depicted holding a knife, an instrument of his death.
According to Leonard Foley, O.F.M., Editor of the Revised Edition of Saint of the Day (Lives and Lessons for Saints and Feast for the New Missal) Bartholomew is mentioned only in the list of the Apostles in the New Testament. Some scholars identify him with Nathanael, a man of Cana in Galilee who was summoned to Jesus by Philip.
Nathanael is a true Israelite and that there is no duplicity in him. When Nathanael asked Jesus how He knew him, Jesus said: "I saw you under the fig tree." This statment so stunned Nathanael that he exlaimed "Rabbi (Teacher), you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
No other Apostles by far expressed greater belief in Jesus upon their first encounter as Nathanael. Jesus stated it exactly right. This apostle was devout, holy and a true Israelite. Imagine calling someone a king and never having seen him before! How could anyone call Jesus the Son of God unless his mind and heart was completely enraptured by the love of God.
Jesus swept Nathanael completely off his feet by revealing to him some personal information that for him was truly amazing.
During this brief meeting with Nathanael, Jesus told him that he would experience greater things than with this first meeting.
Nathanael did see greater things. He was one of those to whom Jesus appeared on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection.