June 11 is the day set aside by the Church to remember St. Barnabas. He is described in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. His name was Joseph. Barnabas or “son of consolation” was apparently a nickname. Acts 4: 36. He probably knew Jesus. After the Resurrection, to help the infant Church he sold a field he owned and donated the proceeds for. Acts 4:37. He was from Cyprus and he accompanied St. Paul on a missionary journey to that island. Acts 13:1-12. Barnabas and Paul continued to the mainland of Asia Minor (now Turkey) where they established churches in many towns, though often against opposition. At Lystra, Paul cured a man who had been lame from birth and the townspeople were convinced that “the gods have come down to us in human form!” They called Barnabas Zeus and Paul Hermes. It was with difficulty that Paul and Barnabas convinced the people not to sacrifice a bull to them. Acts 14:8-18. Barnabas is depicted in the Acts of the Apostles as consistently helpful and supportive of the Church. He is a good model for Christians and a good patron saint for our church. Here is a prayer for the feast of St. Barnabas.
Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of your faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well-being of your Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor, and went forth courageously in mission for the spread of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.