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Painting of Saint Barbara by Wilhelm von Schadow, 1844

Feast of Saint Barbara

(3rd c.)

St. Barbara was born in Nicomedia in modern day Turkey. According to tradition, after the death of her mother she was raised by her rich and tyrannical pagan father who, because of her beauty and intelligence, guarded her closely, keeping her locked away in a tower to protect her from the outside world. She was educated by tutors and came to reject the false gods she was taught to worship in favor of the true God for whom she yearned and wished to discover, dedicating her life and virginity to this purpose. She developed a prayer life and resisted her father’s attempts to have her marry. Believing Barbara to be negatively affected by the seclusion, her father allowed her more freedom to associate with the world. She soon discovered Christians, and, recognizing the Creator she sought, and was baptized in secret. After informing her father that she was a Christian, he denounced her to the authorities under the persecution of Roman Emperor Maximian. She was imprisoned and cruelly tortured, but remained steadfast in her faith. During the night she would pray fervently, and her wounds would miraculously heal. This only subjected her to greater torments, followed by more miraculous interventions. She was finally beheaded by her own father, and afterward he was struck and killed by lightning as punishment. St. Barbara is the patron saint of firemen, armorers, artillerymen, military engineers, miners, and others who work with explosives. She is also the patron against storms, lightning, and fire, to name a few. St. Barbara’s feast day is December 4th.

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I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God.”

Revelation 6:9
Saint Barbara, Francisco Goya
The Martyrdom of Saint Barbara, Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope
Saint Barbara, Cristobal de Villaipando

Saint Barbara, martyr, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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