Pray with Today's Saint

St. Joseph Barsabbas


St. Joseph of Barsabbas is one of those characters in history who are marginally famous for what could have been. Another roll of the dice and he would have been one of the Twelve disciples.

He appears only briefly in Scripture. After betraying Jesus to his passion, Judas Iscariot committed suicide, and the apostles gathered to choose a replacement. Two men were recommended from among Jesus’ wider circle of 72 followers—Joseph and Matthias—and lots were cast and fell to Matthias, who joined the eleven.

Joseph is also known as Joseph the Just, or Justus, and after Pentecost went out into the world to share the good news of Jesus’ resurrection. Some accounts have him being named bishop, and others state that he worked miracles, including the drinking of poison without being harmed (cf Mark 16:18).

Relics of St. Justus rest in the reliquary chapel in the Basilica.

St. Joseph of Barsabbas, the just one who lost a place among the 12 apostles to a game of chance, pray for us!