We are celebrating St. Barbara today: Who was she?


Saint Barbara, is celebrated today December 4. She lived during the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305 AD). Saint Barbara was the daughter of pagan Dioscorus who was one of the wealthiest pagans of Ilioupolis.

Her father kept her locked inside a tower because of her physical beauty. We do not know where she was taught Christianity as her father was a fanatical pagan, which is why she tried to keep her faith hidden.

Her father was informed by artisans that she had requested that they open three windows in the tower where she was imprisoned, in the name of the Holy Trinity, and so he was convinced that his daughter had become a Christian.

He was so enraged that he chased her inside the tower with his sword to kill her. She fled to the mountains, but her father arrested her and handed her over to the local lord, Marciano, accusing her of her faith.

When questioned, she boldly confessed her faith in Christ and rejected her idols. After horrific torture, she was naked in the city and finally slaughtered by her father. But as soon as his crime was over, he was killed by a lightning strike.

The martyred and now is revered at the Basiliskos near Saint Zenaid.

The relics of the saint were preserved in Constantinople until the 11th century AD, when some of them were transferred to Venice, when Peter II of Orseol was the Doge (991-1009 AD). The relics were relocated by Princess Maria Argyroopoula, who married his son Doge Prince Ioannis. (According to some sources – John the Deacon and Andreas Dandolos – Maria was a nephew or sister of the Bulgarian Emperors II and Constantine I, but most likely was one of the future Emperor’s sisters).

The Prince’s wedding was blessed in Constantinople by the Ecumenical Patriarch, with the Emperors brooding. In fact, the couple’s stay in the kingdom was prolonged until 1004 AD (Their first child was born there).

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In Venice, the Relics of the Great Martyrs were deposited at St. Mark’s Cathedral. John died of a plague in Venice in 1009 AD. After the death of his two brothers, Bishop of Torsello Orsos and Philikitis, Abbot of the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian also in Torsello, succeeded in transporting the relics to this monastery, where they remained until the 18th century AD.

The relics were again transported to the Church of St. Mark during the Napoleonic Wars, where they are still kept today. However, some of them remained in the Torcello Monastery. It is not known when and under what circumstances the Saint was transferred to Montecotini, Italy, where she is currently being held, as is the part of the Relics kept at Rieti’s Roman Catholic Church.

Also, in the 12th century AD, some of the relics of the Saint were relocated from Constantinople to the St Michael’s Monastery with the Golden Dome in Kiev, where they remained until 1930 AD when they were relocated to the St. Vladimir cathedral in the same city.

On June 1, 2003 AD, following the actions of Archbishop of Athens Christodoulos to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Venice and its Bishop Angel Scolla, a part of the Holy Relics was given to the Greek Orthodox Church. The Relic was received with due respect by the General Manager of the Apostolic Ministry, Bishop Fanarios Agathangelo, and was deposited in the homonymous pilgrimage of the Municipality of Agia Varvara, Attica.

Agia Barbara is considered not only in Greece but also in other countries. In Greece he was established as Protector of this weapon in 1828 AD. where it mentions the first related ceremony with doxology and a luncheon followed by officers and gunmen.

In Orthodox iconography, Saint Barbara is often painted with a glass in her hand as a protector against sudden death and not wanting to deprive the deceased of depraved society. We often find it near a tower (with three windows) or holding a book (for the dying) or a palm branch.

Saint Barbara is located in the Roman Catholic Church of Montecotini Italy.

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