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Bartholomew of Braganca

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Born about 1200; died 1 July, 1271. He made his studies at Padua, receiving there the habit of the Dominican Order from the hands of St. Dominic. According to Leander, author of the oldest life of Bartholomew, he was made master of the sacred palace in 1235, during the pontificate of Gregory IX ; but there is no mention of this event in his last testament, where he expressly states the important positions held by him. He was appointed to the See of Nemonicum, in Cyprus, 1248; what city this was is not now known. While King Louis of France was engaged upon his expedition against the Infidel, Bartholomew joined the king and queen at Joppa, Sidon, and Acre, in the character of Apostolic legate, according to some writers, his own account merely stating that he visited the king and queen at these places. King Louis desired him to make a visit to France, promising rich relics for his church, should he comply with the request. To ensure the presence of so distinguished a prelate at his own court, Alexander IV made him Bishop of Vicenza, in 1256, and during his tenure of that see he was subject to the tyranny of Ezzelino, a notorious enemy of religion. This persecution, however, served to bring out the true qualities of pastor which Bartholomew possessed in a high degree. It has been said that he was named Patriarch of Jerusalem, but this is doubtful, his testament being silent on this point also. In 1254, he was sent as legate to the courts of England and France and as Henry III was, at this time, in Aquitaine, thither Bartholomew betook himself, towards the close of that year, accompanying the English king and queen to Paris. He was, on this occasion, presented by the King of France with a relic of the true Cross and a thorn from Our Saviour's Crown. These he afterwards placed in the beautiful Dominican Church, built by him, at Vicenza and known as the Church of the Crown. He was venerated by the people and, according to the Bollandists, has always been honoured with the title of Blessed. He wrote commentaries on Scripture, was the reputed author of a commentary on the "Hierarchy" of St. Dionysius the Areopagite , of two volumes of sermons, and some smaller works.

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