Saint Barbara, also known as the Great Martyr Barbara and one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, was an early Christian martyr born in Heliopolis, Phoenicia.

Barbara was the daughter to a rich pagan named Dioscorus.

Dioscorus shielded her from the world by locking her high up within a tower. He allowed only her pagan teachers to see her.

Barbara spent her day admiring all of God’s creations. She secretly became a Christian and offered herself completely to the Lord, choosing a life of consecrated virginity.

Dioscorus allowed for Barbara to leave her tower when she was older and Barbara used this opportunity to meet other Christians.

When her father had a private bath-house built for her, Barbara advised the workers to make a third window – creating a Trinity of light. This became a place full of healing power.

Barbara informed her father she had become a Christian and would no longer worship his idols. Full of rage, he grabbed his sword to strike her.

She ran off and hid within the crevice of a large hill, but a shepherd betrayed her and revealed her hiding spot.

Her father beat her, locked her up and starved her. He then handed her over to the prefect of the city. Under the prefect, they continued to torture her, but Barbara never renounced her Christian faith. She prayed to Jesus and he appeared to heal her wounds. This made the prefect try harder to get her to renounce the Lord and her Christian faith.

Barbara was condemned to death by beheading by her own father.

According to ledgend, as punishment for their actions, both Dioscorus and the prefect were killed after being struck by lightning.

St. Barbara is the patron saint of armourers and artillerymen. She is invoked against lightning and fire. Her feast day is celebrated on December 4.

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