Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza was a thirteenth century Dominican friar. He came from the Braganca family -- a noble clan with enough resources to get him through the University of Padua. He got his habit (the clothes of a monk) from Saint Dominic himself, which seems more prestigious now than it did then, I am sure. Father Bart was a strong supporter of Pope Gregory IX and helped to start a military order of knights to keep the peace in Italy. Since other Italian princes were jockeying for control of the peninsula, as were kings of France and Spain, Bart's support of the papacy was not without critics.
These folks had a superbly humane way of neutralizing Bartholomew's influence in Italy. They worked to get him appointed bishop of Nemonicum in Cyprus. I'm sure it was a real job. The fact that the first four letters of the name mean no one is probably a coincidence. True, no one knows where this city was, but lots of cities are lost over time, right? It probably wasn't a very big city, so he probably didn't have to work really hard, but it did get him out of Italy and away from his pal the Pope.
|Saint Dominic at the National Basilica, Washington DC|
Pope Alexander VI appointed him bishop of Vicenza, his hometown, which gave Bart a base in Italy again. This didn't go down well with the anti-papal leaders of Vicenza, but no dramatic action was taken to depose him. He was a scholar and administrator, a favorite of Popes, cardinals, and kings. He never had to pay for an office; his talents and virtues commended him for offices. But none of these things mattered in his first appointment to a bishopric, since that was really all about getting him out of town.