BARBARA, SAINT, a virgin martyr and saint of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Eastern Churches, whose festival day is December 4th. Her legend is that she was immured in a tower by her father who was opposed to her marriage; that she was converted to Christianity by a follower of Origen, and that when her father learnt this, he beheaded her. The place of her martyrdom is variously given as Heliopolis, as a town of Tuscany, and as Nicomedia, Bithynia, about the year 235. St Barbara is the patron saint of armourers and gunsmiths, and her protection is sought specially against lightning.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)