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June 11


Saint of the day:
Saint Barnabas

Patron Saint of Cyprus, Antioch, against hailstorms, invoked as peacemaker

Saint Barnabas' Story

All we know of Barnabas is to be found in the New Testament. A Jew, born in Cyprus and named Joseph, he sold his property, gave the proceeds to the Apostles, who gave him the name Barnabas, and lived in common with the earliest converts to Christianity in Jerusalem. He persuaded the community there to accept Paul as a disciple, was sent to Antioch, Syria, to look into the community there, and brought Paul there from Tarsus. With Paul he brought Antioch's donation to the Jerusalem community during a famine, and returned to Antioch with John Mark, his cousin. The three went on a missionary journey to Cyprus, Perga (when John Mark went to Jerusalem), and Antioch in Pisidia, where they were so violently opposed by the Jews that they decided to preach to the pagans. Then they went on to Iconium and Lystra in Lycaonia, where they were first acclaimed gods and then stoned out of the city, and then returned to Antioch in Syria. When a dispute arose regarding the observance of the Jewish rites, Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem, where, at a council, it was decided that pagans did not have to be circumcised to be baptized. On their return to Antioch, Barnabas wanted to take John Mark on another visitation to the cities where they had preached, but Paul objected because of John Mark's desertion of them in Perga. Paul and Barnabas parted, and Barnabas returned to Cyprus with Mark; nothing further is heard of him, though it is believed his rift with Paul was ultimately healed. Tradition has Barnabas preaching in Alexandria and Rome, the founder of the Cypriote Church, the Bishop of Milan (which he was not), and has him stoned to death at Salamis about the year 61. The apochryphal Epistle of Barnabas was long attributed to him, but modern scholarship now attributes it to a Christian in Alexandria between the years 70 and 100; the Gospel of Barnabas is probably by an Italian Christian who became a Mohammedan; and the Acts of Barnabas once attributed to John Markare now known to have been written in the fifth century. His feast day is June 11.






St Barnabas Monastery and Icon Museum

Salamis-Famagusta Road, Famagusta, Cyprus

+90 392 366 28 64



What to eat while in Cyprus
Halloumi (Hellim): Cypriot grilled cheese

Cyprus-Style Souvlaki

Louvi: Blacked eyed peas

Cyprus-Style Souvlaki
Grilled meat on a stick soaked in lemon juice

Traditional Souvlaki Pork Kebabs

Souvlaki Kebabs are great for serving in a warm pitta bread with salad,
Tahini dip a good squeeze of lemon. 

Serves: 3-4

Preparation Time: 30 minutes (plus a couple of hours to Marinade)


  • 2-3 lemons, juiced

  • 2 tablespoons greek olive oil

  • 1 good pinch of dried greek oregano

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 500g (1.2 lb) pork neck or shoulder, diced into 2.5cm (1”) cubes


  1. In a large glass bowl, mix together lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and pork,

    stir to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

  2. Thread pork onto skewers.

  3. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes brushing with olive oil sporadically, turning skewers 


Serving suggestions

Serve in a warm pitta bread with salad, Tahini dip a good squeeze of lemon.


Buy a good cut of pork with plenty of fat and alternate the fatty pieces between more lean cuts of meat as this will allow the meat to self-baste during cooking and you will end up with delicious crispy bits


Southern Caviar - Black Eyed Pea Salad


For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad:

  • 3 cups of cooked purple hull or black-eyed peas (or equivalent canned)

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped purple onion

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery

  • 1 green onion, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 (2 ounce) jar of pimentos, well drained

  • 1 medium tomato, chopped

  • 1 wedge lemon, optional

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a lidded storage bowl. Add all of the salad ingredients, except the lemon and herbs; gently fold dressing over the top and stir. Cover tightly and refrigerate several hours up to overnight before serving. Squeeze lime juice and toss with herbs just before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge, but consume in a couple of days. 

  2. Cook's Notes: When fresh tomatoes are out of season, I like to add a can of well-drained Rotel or regular diced tomatoes. For a southwestern take, I add 1 small can of shoepeg corn, 1 teaspoon of cumin and increase cilantro to 2 tablespoons. Greek style top with some feta cheese

  3. May also substitute 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained. For fresh or frozen peas, add 1-1/2 cups of peas to a saucepan. Add water to cover plus one inch, a nub of salt pork and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse and set aside to cool. 

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