Blessed Bartholomew

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.
Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

The following reflection is part of an ongoing series about the life of St. Dominic & the Order of Friars Preachers.

A noted writer of sermons and scriptural commentaries and a leading Dominican bishop, Bartholomew of Breganza (1201 – 70) was born in Vicenza, Italy, and educated at the University of Padua. During his studies at the university he met Dominic and joined the Dominican Order. After ordination Bartholomew was sent to preach against heresy in Lombardy and make peace among the warring factions. He preached so successfully in this difficult mission that he was called to Rome and was appointed Dominic’s successor as the pope’s theologian. Soon after, Bartholomew was named bishop of Limassol on the island of Cyprus and later bishop of Vicenza. He also founded the Militia of Jesus Christ, a society of the laity to work for peace. This window depicts Bartholomew dressed in bishop’s vestments converting and baptizing Mongols. The olive branch refers to his role as peacemaker.

Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. (a member of the English Province) was invited by the Dominican Foundation to take pictures of some of the locations where our friars serve throughout the Northeast. During his time in Washington, D.C., Fr. Lew photographed the interior of the Church of St. Dominic. St. Dominic’s has been the church where our friars are ordained to the priesthood each May. Surrounding the church, is a collection of beautiful stained glass windows that chronicle the life of St. Dominic & the foundation of the Order of Preachers. Fr. Lew accomplished a great work by capturing the splendor of these windows, and in the process, the life of a towering saint.