St Barnabas

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Apostle. A Jewish Cypriot and Levite, St Barnabas was an early disciple - but not one of the Twelve.

He was originally called Joseph, but when he sold all his possessions and gave the money to the apostles, his parents gave him his new name, meaning 'son of consolation'. He welcomed Paul into the Christian community after Paul's conversion. With John, Mark and Paul he sailed on the first missionary expedition to Cyprus and is honoured as founder of the Church there. At the Council of Jerusalem, Barnabas supported the Gentile Christians.

Paul's references to him in Galatians indicate that he evangelised beyond Cyprus. Legends claim he was martyred at Salamis in the year 61.

In England there are 13 ancient churches dedicated to him and several modern ones.

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