"Instruments of the Comforter and proclaimers of the Word, O Apostles and Seers of God, Bartholomew of the Twelve and Barnabas son of consolation, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy."
"Thou wast the Lord's servant and the first of the Seventy, and thy preaching shone with paul's. Thou didst proclaim Christ the Saviour to all, O Barnabas. Wherefore we celebrate thy memory with hymns."
Saint Barnabas was one of the 70 who
sent out two by two during His earthly ministry. He was a Levite
born to wealthy parents in Cyprus. His given name was Joseph, but
the Apostles called him Barnabas which means "Son of
Consolation". He studied under Gamaliel with the Saul and
was the first among the Apostles to welcome him after his
conversion. Barnabas travelled and preached the Gospel with Paul
and Mark in Antioch and on missionary journeys. He was the first
to preach in Rome and Milan. He was martyred by the Jews in his
home country of Cyprus. Mark buried his body at the western gate
of the city of Salamis, with a copy of the Gospel of Matthew in
his hands that he had personally copied. For centuries his grave
was unknown, but the place was a place of healing. During the
reign of Emperor Zeno, the Apostle appeared in visions on three
nights in a row to Archbishop Anthemius of Cyprus and revealed
the location of his grave. Patriarch Peter of Antioch was trying
to extend his rule to include Cyprus at that time. The recovery
of the relics of St. Barnabas proved the apostolic foundation of
the Church of Cyprus and, thus, its autocephaly was confirmed. (From Come and See Icons).