18. St. Barbara.
by James C. Christensen
12 x 6


St. Barbara was born in Egypt (or Asia Minor) in the third century. Her father, a rich heathen, loved her very much and was fearful some man would marry her and take away. According to the legend, he built for her a high tower where she was jealously guarded from the world. Hearing of Christianity, she became fascinated and arranged to receive a Christian disciple disguised as a physician. She was converted and secretly baptized. One day, during her father's absence, she commanded workmen to make two windows on each side of the single one in her tower. On her father's return she confessed her new faith to him and explained that the soul received its light through three windows: the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Enraged by her conversion to Christianity her father gave her up to the authorities. Later, after failing to make her recant under torture, her father (at his own request) was permitted to strike off her head. On his way home from the execution her father was struck and killed by a bolt of lightning. Barbara is the patron saint of artillery. Her invariable attribute is the tower, generally with three windows.
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