April 22, 2019

Commemoration of the Recognition of Christ by the Holy Apostle Nathanael

Commemoration of the Recognition of Christ by the Apostle Nathanael
(Feast Day - April 22)


The Nazarene was recognized by Nathanael the great,
Nazareth was reckoned useless in its silence.

The Holy Apostle Nathanael, elsewhere known as Simon the Zealot or Bartholomew, was from Cana of Galilee, where our Lord Jesus Christ was invited to a wedding together with His all-blameless Mother, and performed His first miracle, changing water into wine. He awaited the incarnate presence of Christ, since he was a student of the Mosaic Law, and learned from the Prophets that the Messiah, namely Christ, was to come. The Holy Apostle Philip, having first followed Christ, went and told his friend Nathanael about Him.

In the Gospel of John (1:45-51) we read:

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the Prophets also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no guile.”

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Amen, amen I tell you, you will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

After the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, Nathanael proclaimed Him as God to the nations, and he died proclaiming this.

Though we commemorate the recognition of Christ by the Holy Apostle Nathanael today, this is not the primary feast of the Apostle, which is May 10th. Today's feast probably has its origins in the fact that once in a while April 22nd correspond with the Wednesday after Easter, which is known as Bright or Renewal Wednesday, on which day the Gospel reading is John 1:35-52, which speaks of Nathanael.