Barsanuphius was a Christian hermit and writer of the sixth century.
He was born in Egypt, and he lived in absolute seclusion for fifty years near the monastery of Saint Seridon of Gaza in Palestine. He wrote many letters, 800 of which have survived. He wrote mainly to John the Prophet, abbot of the monastery of Merosala and teacher of Dorotheus of Gaza. In his old age, he convinced the emperor to renew the relationship with the Church of Jerusalem. He died around 545.
His relics arrived in Oria, in Italy, with a Palestinian monk in 850 AD and were placed in the present-day church of San Francesco da Paola by Bishop Theodosius. During a Moorish siege and taking of the city, the relics were lost but then later rediscovered and placed in the city’s basilica.
At Oria, he is considered to have saved the city from destruction by foreign invaders. A legend states that he repelled a Spanish invasion by appearing before the Spanish commander armed with a sword. During World War II, he is said to have spread his blue cape across the sky, thus causing a rainstorm, and preventing an air bombing by Allied Forces.