Saint Barbara: A Real Bombshell

She lived in Asia Minor in the third century, legend has it, the daughter of Dioscorus, a strict pagan father who locked her up in a tower to shield her from the world. She secretly converted to Christianity and wouldn’t agree to an arranged marriage. Her father had her condemned to death. She escaped several times through divine intervention, and finally Dioscorus took it upon himself to behead her.

The Army's Medallion of the Order of Saint Barbara

The Army’s Medallion of the Order of Saint Barbara

God got even with the old man, however. On his way home from killing his daughter, the father was blown to smithereens by a bolt of lightning.

So Saint Barbara became the patron saint of artillerymen, armorers, military engineers, gunsmiths, miners, bomb squads, and anyone else who works with cannon and explosives. She is invoked against thunder and lightning and all accidents arising from explosions of gunpowder. She is venerated by every Catholic who faces the danger of sudden and violent death in work.

Pope Paul VI removed Barbara from the calendar of saints in 1969, citing the improbability that she actually lived. No matter. Her feast day, December 4, is still celebrated in many countries of the world.

The US Army Field Artillery Association and Army Air Defense Artillery Association maintain the Order of Saint Barbara as an honorary military society. Its most distinguished level is the Ancient Order of Saint Barbara for those who have achieved long-term, exceptional service to the field artillery. Membership at that level must be approved of by the Commanding General, United States Army Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill.

The Spanish and Italian word “santabarbara” and the obsolete French “sainte-barbe” signify the powder magazine of a ship or fortress. It was customary to have a statue of Saint Barbara at the magazine to protect the ship or fortress from suddenly exploding. She is also the patron of the Italian Navy.

Who needs Barbie dolls when you’ve got Saint Barbara on your side?

2 Responses to “Saint Barbara: A Real Bombshell”

  1. Charissa Says:

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and
    I am impressed! Extremely useful information particularly the last part 🙂 I
    care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain information
    for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  2. Anglican Communion Says:

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me dinner simply because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your web site.|

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: