Barbara, Saint, fl. 3d or 4th cent., virgin martyr, whose life is shrouded in contradictory legends. Her father is said to have shut her up in a tower and then to have killed her for being a Christian. He was struck down by lightning, and, by an extended analogy, St. Barbara became the patroness of makers and users of firearms and fireworks. She is invoked for a happy death. Feast: Dec. 4.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.