St. Barbatus was born in Italy toward the end of the seventh century. His parents were careful to give him a thoroughly Catholic education which formed him in the virtues of innocence and purity. Therefore, he was eminently qualified for the priesthood and received Holy Orders in his early years.
As curate of St. Basil's parish, he regularly admonished his parishioners about their sinful lives, for which he sustained persecutions and slanders. These attacks were so violent St. Barbatus had to return to his birth city where he now encountered Christians who practiced many idolatrous superstitions.
In Benvento, a golden viper was adored and a tree was venerated. Without concern for his personal welfare, St. Barbatus preached zealously against these pagan atrocities and proceeded to warn the people of the city of pending calamities. After these prophecies were fulfilled, St. Barbatus was consecrated bishop and managed to destroy all vestiges of heresy and idolatry.
There are two considerations which come to mind in the life of St. Barbatus. First, when someone refuses to see the Truth or to change their sinful life, he will attack the bearer of the Truth with lies and calumnies.
Second, perseverance in fighting evil will always be victorious. Let us ask St. Barbatus to give us the virtue of fortitude to remain steadfast in the battle against evil in our day.