“Scripture does not report a single word of his. Silence is the father of the Word” (Paul Claudel from the Book St. Joseph by Louise Perrotta .
One thing I thought was cool when I became Catholic was that I got to pick a patron saint. Someone I could identify with and look to as an example, someone to emulate. Well…instead of picking one patron saint, I decided that I wanted to pick two.
So, I picked Joseph, Husband of Mary and Barnabas, who is mentioned in the book of Acts and was a companion of Paul.
The reason I picked St. Joseph was because I wanted to be a good father, and Joseph was the earthly father of Jesus, so I figured he was a pretty good guy.
My reason for picking Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”) was because I had been called “a Barnabas” on two separate occasions by two different women, and I wanted to encourage others.
Imagine my surprise when I was reading in the book of Acts a few years ago when I read, “Thus Joseph, also named by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), a Levite, a Cypriot by birth, sold a piece of property that he owned, then brought the money and put it at the feet of the apostles” (Acts 4:36-37).
Barnabas’ real name was Joseph!
I had two patron saints with the same name!
Do you have a patron saint?