at prayer

St. Barbara
St Barbara

Feast day 4 Dec. Vilafranca de Bonany

Entirely legendary saint whose cultus came into existence in the seventh century.

According to the narratives, which are essentially the same, she was the daughter of Dioscorus a wealthy pagan. Her father protected her chastity by keeping her confined to a tower. Somehow, she must have escaped her captivity to have found out about Christ, presumably by listening to a preacher.

Her father had a bathhouse built for her use and she replaced the two windows by three to represent the Holy Trinity and drew a cross in the stone with her hand. When she tried to explain the changes to her father and endeavoured to convert him, he refused to listen.

Indeed his displeasure was such that he denounced her and she was imprisoned and subjected to unimaginable tortures. Jesus came to her each night and healed her body. Finally she was condemned to death and her father beheaded her himself. Shortly afterwards, retributive lightning struck and he was killed.

She is the patron saint of artillerymen and the magazine in a Spanish ship or fort is known as a santabarbara