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San Barnabas Altarpiece
- detail (Madonna Enthroned with Saints)
Saint Barnabas with the Virgin and Child
Tempera on wood, 268 x 280 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Saint Barnabas was a Jew from Cyprus. The Holy Spirit destined Barnabas to a universal mission, as it was he who introduced St. Paul to the other apostles, paving the way for that broad apostolate of St. Paul's which required the approval of the pillars of the Church. He was with Paul in the first missionary journey and at the first Council of Jerusalem. After having converted many souls to Christ, Barnabas died in Cyprus during Nero's reign; tradition has it that he was stoned to death. His name is included in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I).
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
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.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 11:21b-26; 13:1-3
A great number that believed turned to the Lord.
News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord.
So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Mana-en a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:7-13
Jesus said to His apostles, "Preach as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay. Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart. As you enter the house, salute it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you."
Related Link on the Vatican Website: Benedict XVI, General Audience, Wednesday, January 31, 2007, Barnabas, Silas (also called Silvanus), and Apollos
Related Link on the New Advent Website:
The Epistle of Saint Barnabas
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