Barnabas, Feast of Saint


Barnabas, Feast of Saint
   A Holy Day of the Church observed on June 11th. St. Barnabas was born at Cyprus, but was a Jew of the tribe of Levi. His original name was Joses, but after our Lord's Ascension he was called Barnabas, meaning the "Son of Consolation." (Acts 4:36.) He stands out in the New Testament Scriptures as one who is ever helpful, which may have suggested his new name; thus he sold his land, giving the money to the Apostles in order that the necessities of the infant Church might be met. So also he stood sponsor, so to speak, for St. Paul, vouching for the sincerity of his conversion. Having thus brought him to the Apostles and securing his recognition as an Apostle we find that he was associated with St. Paul for about fourteen years in his missionary journeys. After the separation of the Apostles nothing is recorded of St. Barnabas, but tradition tells us that he returned to Cyprus, spending the remainder of his life among his countrymen, and that he suffered martyrdom, being stoned to death by the unbelieving Jews at Salamis. St. Barnabas is said to have left an Epistle which bears his name and which is still extant. It is regarded by many scholars as genuine, but by many others its authenticity is regarded as very doubtful. In ecclesiastical art St. Barnabas is represented as holding St. Matthew's Gospel; as being stoned; as pressing a stone to his breast; as being burned to death; with an open book and staff; with three stones; with a fire near him.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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