St. Barnabas the Apostle
He was a Jew from the Levi tribe. His family had settled in Cyprus and had relatives in Jerusalem, of them, St. Mark’s family and so St. Paul called St. Mark St. Barnabas’s nephew “son of his sister” (Colossians 4:10). According to our Church’s tradition St. Barnabas was one of the seventy disciples. His name was Joseph and the Apostles called him Barnabas, which is translated Son of Encouragement (Acts 4:36). St. Luke mentioned in the Holy Book of Acts that St. Barnabas sold his properties and brought the money and laid it at the Apostles’ feet (Acts 4:36 & 37). Also, he mentioned concerning him “For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24).
The Apostles sent him to Antioch to minister with the Holy Gospel (Acts 11:22). He ministered in Antioch and brought St. Paul to minister with him for one year (Acts 11:22-26). In that year, they went to Jerusalem carrying the gifts of the believers in Antioch to the poor in Judea and in their return to Antioch they brought St Mark (Acts 12:25). Then, he ministered in Cyprus (Acts 15: 36-40) and joined the Council of Jerusalem. St. Paul appointed to him in his Epistles to the Corinthians and Colossians (1 Corinthians 9:6 and Colossians 4:10).
He was martyred in Salamina of Cyprus where Jews seized him, stoned and burned him about 61 AD but his body did not burn. In the 5th century, God revealed to the Bishop of Cyprus the site of his tomb. There is an epistle in his name which was very popular in the early centuries supported by many scholars and fathers in the church but others denied it.