St Barnabas (d. 60)
“Son of Encouragement.” Born with the name Joseph on the island of Cyprus, his name was changed to Barnabas by the Apostles. He is noted in the Acts of the Apostles for having sold his property and giving the proceeds to the Church. After the conversion of St. Paul, it was Barnabas that introduced him to the Christian community in Jerusalem, granting Paul public acceptance. The Apostles sent Barnabas to the fledgling Christian community in Antioch to care for them. In his task of shepherding the Church in Antioch, Barnabas sent for Paul to assist him. From Antioch, Barnabas and Paul embarked upon their first missionary journey. Together, Barnabas and Paul, called for the Council of Jerusalem, in order for the Church to judge what is to be done with Gentile converts and the observance of the Mosaic Law. While setting out for a second missionary journey, Barnabas and Paul had a dispute over John Mark, Barnabas’ kinsman. As a result, Barnabas and Paul separated and embarked on two different missionary journeys. Barnabas went with John Mark to Cyprus, where, in about the year 60 A.D., Barnabas was stoned to death for the faith he preached. Though not one of the Twelve, Barnabas is regarded as an Apostle.
O God, who decreed that Saint Barnabas, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, should be set apart to convert the nations, grant that the Gospel of Christ, which he strenuously preached, may be faithfully proclaimed by word and by deed.