St. Barnabas (1st c.) was a Jew from the island of Cyprus who was given the name Joseph at birth. He is mentioned by name in the New Testament. A convert to the Christian faith in Jerusalem, he sold his property and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles alongside St. Paul the Apostle and St. Mark the Evangelist. He was given the surname Barnabas, meaning 'Son of Exhortation' and was highly esteemed among the Christian leaders at Jerusalem and Antioch, almost ranked among the twelve Apostles themselves. St. Luke said of him, "...for he was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and of Faith." It was Barnabas who vouched for the genuineness of St. Paul's conversion and had him accepted as a Christian by the other Apostles. Barnabas was the cousin of St. Mark, and Barnabas famously disputed with St. Paul over bringing Mark along on their missionary journey, which caused the two famed preachers to part ways and travel separately as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. They were later reconciled. Barnabas was eventually stoned to death around the year 61 A.D. His feast day is celebrated on June 11.
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