Saint Barbara

"Barbara is believed to have lived in the 3rd century AD in the eastern Mediterranean, probably in modern Turkey or Lebanon. She was the beautiful daughter of a wealthy man and, while he was away, to ensure she remained virtuous, he had her locked in a tower. She secretly converted to Christianity and when her father had a bathhouse built for her, she asked the builders to place three windows in it to symbolise the Holy Trinity of the Christian church. When her father saw the windows he recognised their significance and became enraged, reporting her to the authorities. She was arrested, tortured and eventually sentenced to death by beheading. Her father himself carried out the sentence with his sword. He was then struck by lightning and killed, and his body consumed by flames, said to be divine retribution for the murder of his daughter. Because of this, Barbara became associated with thunder, lightning and sudden death. She is first mentioned as a saint in the 7th century, but became increasingly well-known from the 9th century on. In the 14th century she was recognised as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, a group of saints who became particularly venerated due to the belief that they could protect against disease and sudden death. Their veneration began in the Rhineland in Germany at a time when the area was suffering from the Black Death and spread quickly throughout Europe. Barbara is often to be found depicted in medieval works of art, such as church paintings and statues." Today, 4 December, is the feast of St Barbara. She is associated with explosives and she became the patron saint for those who worked with them, such as artillery-men, military engineers and miners. This window by Charles Connick is in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral.

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Fonte: Lawrence OP

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