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Friday, June 11, 2010

Joseph Barnabas, Apostle and Martyr

“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

“And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Bar-nabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” (Acts 4:32-37)

Thus we are introduced to Barnabas. A relative of John Mark, He was the first Christian in Jerusalem who recognized Paul as a brother in Christ and introduced him to the other Apostles. He was sent by God to Antioch to establish the second see of the ancient church (where the disciples were first called Christian). From Antioch, he was sent out as fellow missionary with Paul into Galatia. Early in his second journey with Paul, he stayed in his homeland of Cyprus and became patriarch of that Church where he was (according to legend) stoned by the Jews in A.D. 61 and now awaits the resurrection of the flesh. His feast day is June 11.

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