St. Barnabas Kilisesi Monastery - Famagusta




The Monastery of St. Barnabas is at the opposite side of the Salamis-Famagusta road, by the Royal Tombs. You can easily tell it by its two fairly large domes. It was built to commemorate the foremost saint of Cyprus, whose life was so intertwined with the spread of the Christian message in the years immediately following the death of Christ.

Barnabas was a native of the ancient city Salamis, and was a Jew, though his family had been settled for some time in Cyprus. His real name was in fact Joses, or Joseph; Barnabas was the name given to him by the early Christian apostles because he was recognised as `a son of Prophecy', or as Luke puts it `a son of consolation'. There is no contradiction here. Luke is merely emphasising that one of the great historic functions of prophecy was to console the believer and keep him in the faith.

He was reputed to be an inspired teacher of Christianity, but more than that he played a very great role in the development of early Christianity. He was also the man to acknowledge that Paul's conversion to Christianity was absolutely sincere, and above all he recognised the genius of Paul, whom he introduced to the Christian fellowship in Jerusalem. When Barnabas was later sent to Antioch to supervise the work of the early Church there, he had Paul as his assistant. Later still, of course, he undertook his great missionary journey with Paul, visiting among other places, his own country of Cyprus.

Finally, of course, we know certainly that Paul and Barnabas had a strong diffrence of opinion about Barnabas' nephew, John Mark, and the two friends parted company. Paul wrote later that the rift was healed but by that time Barnabas was probably already back in Cyprus.