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Ordinary Time: June 11th

Memorial of St. Barnabas, apostle


June 11, 2022 (Readings on USCCB website)


St. Barnabas: 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, God, for ever and ever.


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Entrance Antiphon, Cf. Acts 11:24:

Blessed is this holy man, who was worthy to be numbered among the Apostles, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith.

St. Barnabas, Apostle, designated by the Holy Spirit to share the charge and mission of the twelve Apostles, is venerated by the Church as one of them. He played an important part in the first extension of Christianity outside the Jewish world. It was Barnabas who presented St. Paul to the other Apostles when, after his long retreat in Arabia, he came to Jerusalem for the first time after his conversion to submit for Peter's approval the mission to the Gentiles entrusted to him by the Master Himself. Barnabas was Paul's companion and helper on his first missionary journey and returned with him to Jerusalem, but left him when he set out on his second journey and went to Cyprus. The name of St. Barnabas is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass.

Today is Ember Saturday of the Summer or Pentecost Embertide. These Ember Days fall during the week after Pentecost, near the summer solstice. The three principle focal points for the Ember Days of this period of the year are: 1) to ask God to bless especially the wheat harvest, 2) to thank God for the season of summer, and 3) to ask for special graces for those being ordained as priests during this season. Wednesday of Ember week is dedicated to Mary, it is a day of interior recollection. Friday is devoted to penance, while Saturday lays greatest stress on thanksgiving.

Because of the focus on wheat, the Ember Days of Summer have a Eucharistic focus, our “Bread of Life.” But also since the Ember Days are positioned during the traditional octave of Pentecost, there is also a Pentecostal flavor, to understand more deeply the riches and graces from the Holy Spirit especially as received at Pentecost. See Summer or Pentecost Ember Days and Contemporary Observation of Ember Days.

Stational Church >>>

St. Barnabas
Strictly speaking, Barnabas was not an apostle, but the title has been bestowed upon him since very early times. His first name was Joseph; Barnabas (etymology: "son of consolation") was a surname. He belonged to the tribe of Levi. He was a Hellenist, that is, a Jew who lived outside of Palestine and spoke the Greek tongue. Born in Cyprus, he embraced the faith soon after the death of Christ, becoming a member of the original Jerusalem community. His first noteworthy deed was to sell his belongings and place the money at the feet of the apostles.

It is to his lasting credit that he befriended the neo-convert Paul and introduced him to the apostles when everyone was still distrusting the former persecutor. More noteworthy still was his service to the universal Church by being the first to recognize Paul's potential for the cause of Christ; it was Barnabas who brought him from Tarsus to teach at Antioch. The first missionary journey (about 45-48 A.D.) the two made together, and Barnabas seems to have been the leader, at least at the beginning (Acts 13-14). Barnabas' appearance must have been dignified and impressive, otherwise the inhabitants of Lystra would not have regarded him as Jupiter.

He was present with Paul at the Council of Jerusalem (ca. 50). While they were preparing for the second missionary journey, there arose a difference of opinion regarding Mark; as a result each continued his labors separately. Barnabas went to Cyprus with Mark and thereafter is not referred to again in the Acts of the Apostles or in any other authentic source. From a remark in one of Paul's letters we know that he lived from the work of his own hands (1 Cor. 9:5-6). The time and place of his death have not been recorded. It is claimed that his body was found at Salamina in 488 A.D. His name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass since ancient times.

—Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Antioch; Cyprus; against hailstorms; invoked as peacemaker.

Symbols: Dalmatic; three stones; book and staff; St. Matthew's Gospel; pilgrim's staff and wallet; burning pyre; cross; hatchet; ax; lance;
Often portrayed as: middle-aged bearded apostle, often bearing a book or olive branch; standing on or near a pile of stones while holding a book; stones; with Saint Paul.

Things to Do:

  • Read the passages from the Acts of the Apostles about St. Barnabas: Acts 4:36-37; 9:26-29; 11:27-30; 12:24-25; 13:1-12; 13:27-30; 13:44-52; 14:1-14; 14:21-23; 14:36-40.

  • Read the Catholic Encyclopedia's account of the life of St. Barnabas.

Ember Saturday after Pentecost
Station with San Pietro in Vaticano (St. Peter's in the Vatican):

We celebrate this closing and thanksgiving day of Ember Week "in the house of Peter." It is the night between Saturday and Sunday as in the spirit of the ancient Church we gather at St. Peter's, the station for all Christendom. For the Offertory we bring our tithe from the past quarter year (in certain communities and parishes wheat for the altar bread is presented) and joyously voice our gratitude over the spiritual harvest marking the close of Ember Week.

For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.
Alan Howard: St. Peter's Basilica Information
Rome Art Lover: Basilica di S. Pietro in Vaticano