From the View Vault… in service to The Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau.
December 4th… the feast day of Saint Barbara.
The legend of St. Barbara – dedicated to Christ, allegedly beheaded by her father between 235-238. Saint Barbara gained her crown of martyrdom on December 4, 306 and joined her true Father in Heaven.
“Father in heaven, who among the other miracles of Your power, have given to men and women of holy faith the victory of martyrdom, grant, we beseech You, that we, who are celebrating the birthday to life eternal of Saint Barbara, your virgin and martyr, may, through her intercession, on day receive the reward of eternal life in your heavenly kingdom. Amen”
According to legend, Saint Barbara was the extremely beautiful daughter of a wealthy heathen named Dioscorus. Because of her singular beauty and fearful that she be demanded in marriage and taken away from him, he jealously shut her up in a tower to protect her from the outside world.
While in the tower, she was tutored by philosophers, orators and poets. From them she learned of and converted to Christianity. As her belief became firm, she directed that the builders redesign the tower her father had designed, adding another window so that three windows would symbolize the Holy Trinity.
When her father saw the tower, he was enraged at the changes and was even more infuriated when Barbara acknowledged that she was a Christian. He dragged her before the courts of the province, which decreed that she be tortured and put to death by beheading. Dioscorus himself carried out the death sentence. On his way home he was struck by lightening and his body consumed.
PS: Her imprisonment led to her association with towers, then the construction and maintenance of them, then to their military uses. The lightning that avenged her murder led to asking her protection against fire and lightning, and her patronage of firefighters, etc. Her association with things military and with death that falls from the sky led to her patronage of all things related to artillery.
She is the Patron Saint of: Architects, Builders, Carpenters, Firefighters, Masons, Miners, Construction & Electrical Workers, Mathematicians, Artillerymen, Geologists and Military Engineers
Invoked against: Lightening, Fire, Sudden Death