Written by Jennifer Abrahim ~Saint Barbara lived during the end of the third century; a time of turmoil and disease. Her father, Diosocorus, was a wealthy governor who lived in a large and beautiful palace. He was a pagan, like the majority of others during this time, raising Barbara with the same beliefs. Diosocorus, treasuring his daughter a great deal, did not want her living in a world of disease and war so he kept her in a tower near his palace.
St. Barbara, not allowed out her tower, often wondered about the Creator of the stars, land, and sun. Through her attendants, who she thought of as her friends, she was able to learn about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice that granted salvation to all. For St. Barbara, hearing about this was enough to believe in the Lord. Through the grace of God, she came to know in Him, not the gods that her father encouraged her to believe in. Secretly, she became a Christian, with her father not knowing about her newfound faith in Christ.
Some point after St. Barbara became a Christian, Diosocorus left for a long period of time. In the meantime, he instructed his palace workers to build a bathhouse near the tower his daughter was living in. St. Barbara saw that the bathhouse only had two windows so she instructed the workers to add a third window to symbolize the Holy Trinity.
Once her father returned, he saw the changes that were made and questioned his workers about it. They proceeded to inform him that his daughter told them to make the changes. Diosocorus then questioned his daughter about why she had the changes made and it was then that she confessed her faith in Christ and that she was no longer a pagan. Her father was infuriated, causing St. Barbara to flee from the city and hide from her father’s rage. However, Diosocorus found her and dragged her back to the city where he beat her and deprived her of food and water until she gave up her faith in Christ. She stood strong in spite of the torture her father put her through and vowed never to denounce her love and faith in God.
Her father then turned her over to the governor, Marcian, so he could try to persuade her to offer incense to the pagan gods. She again refused so Marcian had her undergo severe torture for her disobedience. Julianna, another woman that was also a firm believer in God, seeing what St. Barbara was being put through, came and proclaimed her faith in God along with St. Barbara. Marcian then proceeded to torture both women for their faith in God. St. Barbara was eventually beheaded at the hands of her own father and St. Julianna was beheaded at the hands of Marcian, both receiving the crown of martyrdom.
May the Lord grant us strength, courage, and faith as displayed by St. Barbara and St. Julianna who were willing to die in order to attain Life.
"St Barbara Orthodox Monastery-- Life of St. Barbara." St. Barbara Monastery. Web. 1 Dec. 2011. .
"St. Barbara." CopticChurch.Net - Coptic Orthodox Church Network. Web. 1 Dec. 2011. <http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/synexarion/barbara.html>.