« Baraita Barbara, Saint Barbauld, Anna Letitia »

Barbara, Saint

BARBARA, SAINT: A saint whose career belongs to the domain of legend; her name is not found in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum or in Bede. According to the traditional story, she was a maiden of great beauty, who, having been early converted to Christianity, was given up by her own father to the authorities, and beheaded by the præses of the province, Martinianus, steadfastly refusing to deny Christ. Her father is said to have been killed by lightning at the scene of the execution, which is stated to have been Nicomedia (in Bithynia), Tuscia (i.e., Etruria), and Heliopolis in Egypt; the time was either under Maximinus (235-238) or sixty or seventy years later under Maximianus or Galerius. In Roman Catholic countries she is popularly considered to give protection against fire and tempest, and she is also the patron saint of the artillery. She is invoked by the dying in consequence of the story of Henry Kock at Gorkum, in Holland, in 1448, who, being nearly burnt to death, called on her and was preserved alive long enough to receive the last sacraments. Her feast falls on Dec. 4.

Bibliography: Célestin, Histoire de Ste. Barbe, Paris, 1853; Villemot, Histoire de Ste. Barbe, vierge et martyre, patronne de l’artillerie de terre et de mer et des mineurs, Besançon, 1865.

« Baraita Barbara, Saint Barbauld, Anna Letitia »
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