Saint Barbara


Feast Day December 4

St. Barbara was born in Nicomedia in Asia Minor and was the only child of a prominent man, Dioscorus. He gave her an excellent education but forced her to live in a tower away from evil influences. In spite of her isolation, she became a Christian and dedicated herself to God in holy virginity. When she refused to marry, her father discovered she had become a Christian and his love turned to hate. She was scourged and died in the year 235.

She is pictured holding a chalice in one hand and the sword of martyrdom in the other. She is generally depicted standing next to a tower, the place of her confinement by her father. The tower is shown in the mosaic at the front of the church. St. Barbara’s Church in Lackawanna, NY had a very high bell tower because of this symbolism.

St. Barbara is the patron of the dying. She is called upon to obtain the grace of receiving the last sacraments. She is the patron of soldiers, architects, miners, masons, etc. She is also invoked against danger from fire and storms.