5 Things to Know About St. Barnabas

St. Barnabas
Courtesy of Stained Glass, Inc.
If you need a little encouragement today, it is the perfect day to turn to the Saint from Scripture known as the "son of encouragement" - St. Barnabas.  A few interesting facts on St. Barnabas:

1)  Barnabas's Real Name was Joseph, but the apostles called him Barnabas, meaning "son of encouragement." His stories in the Bible are a bit scattered about, but if you search and discover them, it becomes easy to understand why he was considered to be an encouraging fellow (Acts 4:36-37).

2)  He Was a Cousin to one of the Gospel Writers - Mark (also known as John), who accompanied Barnabas and Paul partway through the First Missionary Journey (Colossians 4:10Acts 13:13).

3)  This "Son of Encouragement" Convinced the Apostles to Give Saul/Paul a Chance - Acts 9:26-27.

4)  St. Barnabas Brought Paul to Antioch to Help with the Gentile Christians There - The early-early church wasn't quite sure how to react to the Gentiles who found joy in the message of Christ.  Barnabas was helpful in sorting this out. Acts 11:19-26.

5) He Had "Sharp Disagreement" With Paul - over whether or not to bring John Mark on another Missionary Journey (Acts 15:37-41).

The scroll that Barnabas is holding in the Stained Glass window above might represent the "Epistle of Barnabas" - a document purportedly written by this New Testament Saint, which was not included in the final version of the Bible.