The Monastery of Apostle Barnabas in Occupied Salamis celebrated this year as well the memory of its Saint, glorious Apostle Barnabas.
The Vesper and the Divine Liturgy were presided by the Abbot of the Monastery, Archimandrite Ioannis Ioannou, assisted by the Protosyncellus of the Holy Metropolis of Constantia Augoustinos Karas and other clergymen.
In his sermon, the Abbot referred both to the defining for the Church of Cyprus presence of Apostle Barnabas on the island, and the messages of unity and peace that arise from the Ascension Day.
Apostle Barnabas was an influential figure in the Church of Jerusalem. For this reason, when they were informed that in Antioch some preach Christ, they sent Barnabas to ascertain whether it is an authentic Christian preaching. When Barnabas ascertained indeed the correctness of the Christian teaching “he was delighted”. Then he met, in Tarsus, Apostle Paul and they stayed for one year in Antioch preaching the Gospel. Together they came to Cyprus, the capital of which at the time was Salamis, and from there proceeded to Paphos, gospeling Christ.
Later Barnabas, who was Cypriot, returned to Cyprus and established the Church of Cyprus. He became the first Bishop of Salamis. He immediately ordained Bishops at the major centers of the island and thus organized the Church. That is why he is considered the founder of the Church of Cyprus.
Apostle Barnabas is considered to be the first of the seventy Apostles and had all the characteristics of apostolate and evangelistic activity: the call from Christ and the Church, the mission, the persecution. His Grave and his Monastery are in the occupied areas. The discovery of this Tomb in the 5th century launched the granting of the Status of Autocephaly of the Church of Cyprus.