Saint Barbatus, also called Barbas, was a bishop in the Italian city of Benevento in the seventh century. He was known for preaching about the Christian life and against sin and idolatry – preaching that made his hearers very uncomfortable. As a result he was alternately ignored and slandered until he prophesied that the East Roman Emperor Constans II would attack.
To whom can I speak and give warning?
Who will listen to me?
Their ears are closed
so they cannot hear.
The word of the LORD is offensive to them;
they find no pleasure in it.
But I am full of the wrath of the LORD,
and I cannot hold it in.
Jeremiah 6:10 & 11a
When Constans II laid siege to the city, the people destroyed their idols and used material from the temple of Isis to repair the city wall. Eventually Constans II left, and Barbatus was honored as the city’s bishop. His feast day is celebrated every year on the anniversary of his death, February 19, 682.