Barnabas was born in Cyprus to Jewish parents and was initially named Joseph. He was a Levite, a member of the tribe of Levi, responsible for the temple's duties and services. Barnabas became a follower of Jesus Christ shortly after Christ's resurrection and ascension, and it was the apostles who gave him the name "Barnabas," which means "son of encouragement" (Acts 4:36).
Barnabas is most renowned for his missionary journeys alongside the Apostle Paul. He played a significant role in the spread of Christianity, venturing beyond the Jewish communities to preach to the Gentiles. His missionary journeys took him to numerous regions, including Cyprus, Antioch, and various parts of Asia Minor.
Barnabas was also instrumental in introducing Paul, then a recent convert from persecutor to follower of Christ, to the other apostles in Jerusalem. He recognized Paul's zeal and dedication, which played a crucial role in Paul's acceptance among the apostles and his future ministry.
Tradition holds that Barnabas was martyred in Cyprus by stoning around 61 AD. His feast day is celebrated on June 11 in the Orthodox Church.
Apostle Barnabas is revered for his dedication to spreading the Gospel, his encouraging spirit, and his significant contribution to the growth of the early Church. His life serves as an example of steadfast faith, generous service, and fearless proclamation of Christ's teachings.
Those interested in learning more about the life and works of Orthodox Saints are invited to explore our collection here. Discover the inspiring journey of a saint whose faith and courage helped shape Christianity's early days.