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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 382 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SAINT BARBARA, a virgin martyr and saint of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Eastern Churches, whose festival day is December 4th. Her legend is that she was immured iu a tower by her father who was opposed to her marriage; that she was converted to Christianity by a follower of Origen, and that when her father learnt this, he beheaded her. The place of her martyrdom is variously given as Heliopolis, as a town of Tuscany, .and as Nicomedia, Bithynia, about the year 235. St Barbara is the patron saint of armourers and gunsmiths, and her protection is sought specially against lightning.
End of Article: SAINT BARBARA
BARBARIAN (Gr. fap/3apos)

Additional information and Comments

According to another version of the legend, the young and beautiful maiden Barbara (her name being of latin origin, and meaning "barbarian", thus "foreigner") refused marriage imposed by her own tyrant father. As a fervent believer in Jesus - her celestial bridegroom - she rather accepted to die, than to marry a heathen. Her father is told to have imprisoned her in a tower (one of her symbolic attributes), where Barbara died of hunger. Legend has it, that a lightening out of the blue sky has struck the crimminal father, revenging hereby Barbara's death. As a patron saint, Barbara is invoked against death by lightening, against unexpected death. Due to her legendary connection to fire from heaven, she is the protecting saint of artillery, strategy, cannons, mining and miners (alogside with Saint Anne), fireworks, firemen, explosions, gunpowder, a.s.o. On December 4th, "Barbara-day", the German tradition observes putting cherry branches into water, the blossoming of whome is supposed to occure on Christmas day. One further legend connects her name to the ethimology of the word "barbecue"...
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