New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Barbara

detail of a painting of Saint Barbara by Lattanzio Gambara, date unknown; photographed by RobyBS89; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Virgin, martyr (235 or 238). According to her legendary acts she was the daughter of the rich heathen, Dioscorus. When she professed Christianity, she was cruelly tortured, condemned to death, and was beheaded by her father. Juliana was her companion in martyrdom. The place of her death is uncertain. Hieropolis in Egypt, Nicomedia, Antioch, Rome, and Hierapolis in Syria having been named. She has been popular in the East and West since the 7th century. G. K. Chesterton celebrates her in the poem, The Ballad of Saint Barbara. Patroness of artillerymen, architects, prisoners, founders, stonemasons, grave-diggers, fortifications; invoked against thunderstorms, fire, lightning, impenitence, and sudden death; venerated as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Emblems: a tower, palm, chalice, and canon. Relics at Burano, Italy, and Kief, Russia. Feast, Roman Calendar, 4 December.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Barbara”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 August 2012. Web. 24 October 2020. <>