Today the Church recalls and celebrates the life of St. Barnabas, one of the 72 disciples called by Jesus. After Pentecost and the founding of the Church by the Holy Ghost, the apostle Barnabas was sent to Antioch and there he invited Paul, the former persecutor of God's elect, to be his co-worker.
Inspired by the Holy Ghost, the clergy of Antioch dedicated Barnabas and Paul to the work of converting the Gentiles. Both St. Paul & St. Barnabas labored for many years on Cyprus for the Faith. And many years later, St. Barnabas followed the same fate as nearly all of the other apostles when he willingly suffered martyrdom.
Taken from today's Lesson at Mass:
LESSON Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3
In those days, a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report 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 great many people were 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 great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen 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.
O God, we are made happy by the merits and intercession of Your blessed apostle Barnabas. May the prayers we offer through him bring us the gift of Your grace. Through our Lord . . .
Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal