Barnabas, a Jew of Cyprus, was closely associated with St. Paul. He introduced Paul to Peter and the other Apostles.
When a Christian community began in Antioch, Barnabas was sent as the official representative of the mother church of Jerusalem to unite its members in the fold of Christ. He and Paul gave instructions in Antioch for a year.
Later, Paul and Barnabas were sent by Antioch officials to preach to the Gentiles. Great success crowned their efforts. But all was not peaceful. They were expelled from some towns. Later Barnabas took Mark to Cyprus, and Paul took Silas to Syria.
Barnabas is spoken simply as one who dedicated his life to the Lord. He was a man filled with the Holy Spirit and faith, through whom large numbers were added to the Lord’s followers. Barnabas died a martyr at Cyprus during Nero’s reign with the Gospel of St. Matthew, written by his own hand, on his chest.
You commanded that St. Barnabas,
Who was full of faith and the Holy Spirit,
should be set apart to labor
for conversion of the Gentiles.
May Christ’s Gospel
which he preached with great ardor
continue to be preached
word and deed.