St Barnaabas

Saint Barnabas is recognised as the Founder and Protector of the Church in Cyprus.We celebrate his day on 11th June every year.Barnabas was originally from Cyprus. He was the brother of Mary, the mother of St Mark who wrote one of the Gospels.He was also a friend of St Paul.He was one of the 70 Apostles of Christ. He sold his land, giving the money to the Apostles to distribute amongst the poor.
He went through Cyprus with St Paul and St Mark preaching the Gospel.They ordained Eraklidio the first Bishop of Cyprus.They also baptised Sergio Paul the Governor of Cyprus.He became the first Roman Governor to become a Christian.

The Jews did not like Barnabas's teachings.One day as he was preaching in the synagogue in Salamina he was arrested and locked up in a cellar.When night fell, some fanatic Jews led him to the walls of Salamina where they stoned him to death.St Mark and some other good Christians took his body and buried it secretly.Then they left Cyprus fearing the Jews.

Many years passed. In about 478 AD the Patriarch of Antioch wanted to bring the Church of Cyprus under his control. Bishop Anthemios and the other bishops of Cyprus were in a difficult position.They prayed for God's guidance.One night St Barnabas came to him in a dream revealing where his body was buried. Anthemios and his followers found the Holy remains of St Barnabas along with a Gospel of Saint Matthew.They took all they found to Constantinople and gave them to the Emperor Zinonas. Zinonas was so pleased that he issued a number of decrees including that the Patriarch of Antioch should not interfere in the Business of the Church of Cyprus.Anthemios was also made Archbishop and was given authority to sign in red like the Emperors of Byzantium.
When he returned to Cyprus, Anthemios built a big church where the remains of St Barnabas were found.


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Last published: :04/05/03
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