SAINT BARNABAS

June 11

From the Prologue

Barnabas was one of the Seventy Apostles. He was born in Cyprus of wealthy parents from the tribe of Levi and studied together with Saul under Gamaliel. At first, he was called Joseph but the apostles then called him Barnabas, Son of Consolation, because he was exceptionally capable of comforting the souls of the people. After Saul's conversion, Barnabas was the first to introduce Saul to the apostles and after that, with Paul [Saul] and Mark he preached the Gospel in Antioch and throughout other places. In all probability, he was the first to preach in Rome and Milan. He suffered on the island of Cyprus at the hands of the Jews and was buried by Mark beyond the western gate of the town of Salamis with the Gospel of St. Matthew on his chest which he, by his own hand, had copied. His grave remained unknown for several hundred years and since many received healing from sickness on this spot, this place was called: "the place of health." At the time of Emperor Zeno and the Chalcedon Council [451 A.D.], the apostle appeared to Archbishop Anthemius of Cyprus on three successive nights in a dream and revealed to him the location of Barnabas' grave. That appearance of the apostle occurred exactly at the time when Peter, the power-hungry Patriarch of Antioch, sought that the church in Cyprus be under the jurisdiction of the throne of Antioch. After the appearance and discovery of the miraculous relics of the holy Apostle Barnabas, it was established that the church in Cyprus, as an Apostolic Church, should always be independent. Thus, the autocephaly of the Church in Cyprus was established.





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