Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Saint Barnabas

Barnabas, Patron Saint of Cyprus, was one of the earliest Christians in Jerusalem, a Jew of the tribe of Levi. Together with Saint Paul, he carried out missionary journeys to Antioch and Anatolia (modern Turkey), and other locations mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, in particular evangelising the "God-fearing" Gentiles who, attracted to Judaism, attended the synagogues in the diaspora, but who were not necessarily keen to convert and subject themselves to the full rigours of the Mosaic Law. Together with Paul, he took part in the Council of Jerusalem, successfully defending their belief that Gentile Christians need not be circumcised, or observe the Torah in full.

He is said to have been martyred in Syria where Jews, annoyed by his success, dragged him out of the synagogue and, after various tortures, stoned him to death.

Bountiful God, giver of all gifts,
who poured your Spirit upon your servant Barnabas
and gave him grace to encourage others:
help us, by his example,
to be generous in our judgements
and unselfish in our service;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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