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Paul and Barnabas MistakenOutsideWalls.smal
The Life of St. Paul: Paul and Barnabas Taken for Gods, Anonymous Painted, commissioned in 1855, Painted Circa 1857-60, Oil on canvas, © Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Rome

Feast of St. Barnabas

(1st Century)

St. Barnabas was a Jew from the island of Cyprus who was given the name Joseph at birth. He is mentioned by name in the New Testament. A convert to the Christian faith in Jerusalem, he sold his property and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles alongside St. Paul the Apostle and St. Mark the Evangelist. He was given the surname Barnabas, meaning ‘Son of Exhortation’ and was highly esteemed among the Christian leaders at Jerusalem and Antioch, almost ranked among the twelve Apostles themselves. St. Luke said of him, “…for he was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and of Faith.” It was Barnabas who vouched for the genuineness of St. Paul’s conversion and had him accepted as a Christian by the other Apostles. Barnabas was the cousin of St. Mark, and Barnabas famously disputed with St. Paul over bringing Mark along on their missionary journey, which caused the two famed preachers to part ways and travel separately as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. They were later reconciled. Barnabas was eventually stoned to death around the year 61 A.D. His feast day is celebrated on June 11.

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Barnabas, the ‘son of encouragement,’ was the first man fully to appreciate the change wrought in Paul, inviting Paul to accompany him to Antioch. Thus began the great mission to the Gentiles. Together Paul and Barnabas preached to the people there and elsewhere in Asia Minor. John Mark joined them, but left halfway through the mission. After the Council of Jerusalem, Paul refused to preach alongside Barnabas over the issue of circumcision and the behavior of John Mark. Barnabas is considered the patron saint of quarrels for the way he resolved the dispute with Paul, taking John Mark under his wing. He died sometime before the year 63, probably at Salamis in Cyprus.”

Magnificat, June 2020
Saints Paul and Barnabas at Lystra (Sacrifice at Lystra) by Bartholomeus Breenberg, 1637, Princeton University Art Museum
Barnabas curing the sick by Paolo Veronese, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, c. 1566

He was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.”

Acts 11:24


St. Barnabas, son of consolation, companion of St. Paul and St. Mark, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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