St. Barbatus was born in Benevento, Italy. He liked to read the Bible and as soon as he was old enough, he was ordained a priest.
Being a fiery preacher, he was made a pastor. Although he was very good at his work, his life as a pastor was not easy. St. Barbatus encouraged the people that belonged to his flock, to lead better lives. He reminded them to be sorry for their sins. Some people did not like him telling them how to live and were angry. They treated him very badly and finally forced him to leave.
Young St. Barbatus resigned from his parish and went back to Benevento where he had been born. He was received with great joy.
There were challenges in that city, too. Many converts to Christianity still kept pagan idols in their homes. They found it hard to destroy their good luck charms. They worshiped a golden viper and animal skin hung in a tree. They believed in magic powers.
St. Barbatus preached against such superstitions. But the people hung on to their false gods. The saint warned them that because of this sin, their city would be attacked by enemies and it was. The army of Emperor Constans besieged Benevento.
The people then listened to the preacher, soon gave up their error and peace returned. Barbatus then cut down the tree with his own hand, and melted down the golden viper to make a chalice for the altar.
St. Barbatus was made bishop. He continued his work to convert his people and assisted the Pope in a council. He died on February 29, 682, at the age of seventy.
Reflection: “Do not conform to the mentality of this age…”, St. Paul said. Yes, we must not abide today’s mentality because it will not bring us closer to Christ otherwise it causes us to be worldly and hedonistic. We may be like St. Barbatus who fight against these errors of hedonistic lifestyle and comfortable living. We are Christians, our life must be a life of suffering and pain because we know our comfort lies above in heaven.
Prayer: Almighty ever-living God, who chose blessed Barbatus to preside as Bishop over your holy people, we pray that, by his merits, you may bestow on us the grace of your loving kindness. 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.