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June 11.

St. Barnabas, Apostle, 1st Cent. St. Tochumra, of Tochumrach in Ireland. Another St. Tochumra, diocese of Kilmore.

St. Barnabas the Apostle.

He was of the tribe of Levi, and coadjutor with the apostle Paul for several years. Though denominated an apostle, it seems agreed that he was not entitled to that character; if he were, his extant epistle would have equal claim with the writings of the other apostles to a place among the books in the New Testament. He is said to have been martyred, but of this there is not sufficient evidence.

St. Barnabas' Day.

This was a high festival in England formerly.

Besides the holy thorn, there grew in the abbey churchyard of Glastonbury, on the north side of St. Joseph's chapel, a miraculous walnut-tree, which never budded forth before the feast of St. Barnabas, viz. the eleventh of June, and on that very day shot forth leaves, and flourished like its usual species. This tree is gone, and in the place thereof stands a very fine walnut-tree of the common sort. It is strange to say how much this tree was sought after by the credulous; and, though not an uncommon walnut, queen Anne, king James, and many of the nobility of the realm, even when the times of monkish superstition had ceased, gave large sums of money for small cuttings from the original.* [1]

Midsummer, or nightless days, now begin and continue until the 2d of July.[2] There is still this saying among country people,—

"Barnaby Bright, Barnaby Bright,
The longest day and the shortest night."


Midsummer Daisy. Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum.
Dedicated to St. Barnabas.


Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. Collinson's Somersetshire. [return]

2. Dr. Forster's Perennial Calendar. [return]