All Kecmans celebrate St Bartholomew’s day.

t Bartholomew was one of the original twelve apostles. It appears that Bartholomew and Nathaniel were the same person. Together with the apostle Phillip and his sister, the virgin Miriam (and for a period of time St John too) they spreads the gospel first in Asia and then in India, and finally in Armenia where St Bartholomew was martyred. In Europolis they killed a large serpent through prayer that the unbelievers worshipped in their temple. In the same city they gave sight to Stahija who was blind for forty days. Here a mob rose against them and crucified Phillip and Bartholomew (Bartholomew was crucified upside down). An earthquake followed this event that killed the judges and many other people. Interpreting this as a punishment from God the mob hurried to take the apostles down from the crucifix. Phillip had already died while Bartholomew survived. After that Bartholomew left for India where he preached and translated the Gospel of Matthew into the local language.

From there he crossed into Armenia where he cured the king Polymeus’ daughter from madness. However, the king’s envious brother Astiag caught Bartholomew and had him flayed, crucified and, finally, decapitated in Albanopolis.
The Christians buried him in an iron coffin. As many miracles occurred on this coffin the non-believers threw it into the sea. The coffin was taken by the sea to the island Lipar where bishop Agaton, following a revelation in his sleep, waited for it and buried it in a church on the island. St Bartholomew appeared in a vision to Joseph the Songwriter and king Anastas (491-518) whom he told that he will protect the new town of Dari. His coffin was later taken to Benevent and then to Rome. Many miracles occurred over his body.

St Bartholomew is celebrated on the 24th of June. No work is supposed to be done on this day and heights are to be avoided “as it is easy to fall and break ones neck”. Among Serbs only the Kecman family (and a few others descending from them) celebrate this day. Serbs do not have many churches in honour of St Bartholomew. One of the few is in Rakovica next to Belgrade.