The Catholic Defender: St Barbara, Patron Of Artillery

Posted by John Benko - December 3rd, 2013

Editors Note-St. Barbara’s Feast Day is December 4th and I want to re post this article in honor of her feast day.¬† However, just a note that the Walking Dead is currently in season 4.¬† It will resume airing on 9 February 2014 for those interested.

This past Sunday, I watched the final episode of “The Walking Dead” and I was shocked when one of the main original characters was killed.

Andrea (Laurie Holden) did not survive the season 3 finale, kind of sad when you get interested in following the story line and the characters.

Andrea had become a fictitious hero as she tried to save lives.

With this being said, this past Saturday, I traveled through Austin Texas and to San Antonio to celebrate the Easter Vigil and Sponsor one of my former Solders, SSG Cardenas, into the Catholic Faith.

What a great blessing this event was for all concerned. While in Austin, I bought the movie, “Saint Barbara, Convert and Martyr of the Early Church” and I popped it out and watched it last night.

As I watched the movie, I recalled my deployment in Korea with the 2nd Battalion 17th Field Artillery Regiment.

I quickly learned how important St. Barbara meant to the traditions of the Artillery. St. Barbara is recognized as the “Patron Saint” of artillery and so I watched the movie with great interest to see the connection.

The Movie “Saint Barbara” is presented by Ignatius Press, produced by LUX VIDE as a foreign film. I had to catch the English sub-titles to keep up with the story, but all in all, I was able to get into the movie.

To give some background on St. Barbara, she was born sometime near 283 A.D. raised in Nicomedia, Asia Minor.

Her Father, Dioscrus, was a strong Roman Govenor who had a hatred for the Catholic Faith. He was a devout Pagan who believed in the power of Rome. He considered the Church as a threat against the “divine” Emperor.

Despite all his efforts, St. Barbara would herself follow the footsteps of her Mother and become a Christian. Dioscrus built a tower intending to close St. Barbara off from the world.

She placed in this tower three windows representing the Holy Trinity. Notice that St. Patrick utilized the Shamrock and St. Boniface used the upside down pine tree to teach the Trinity.

Now I learn that St. Barbara used the three windows to signify the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I have often taught people showing that fractions, decimals, and percentages can be used in mathematics to get the same truth. Also I have compared the Trinity with H2O showing three forms, liquid, steam, and ice forming a three in one substance.

Others can use other different tools to teach the Triune God, and you can see that the Church has done this all along. St. Barbara would eventually become a Christian and placed the three windows in the tower.

Because of the terrible persecutions of Diocletion, Decius, and others, the Christians would suffer greatly.

When St. Barbara came forward as a Christian, she refused to marry the prefect of the province, Martinianus, who brutally tortured her.

There are several miracles that surround this great Saint. The story is told that her Father, Dioscrus, upon learning of her conversion to the Catholic Faith, he drew is own sword to kill her.

Just as the Lord took St. Phillip (Acts 8:39) and moved him, the Lord also protected St. Barbara (through her prayers).

This is much the same way God saved St. Peter (Acts 12:6-11). The Lord gave St. Barbara an opening of escape miraculously transporting her to a mountain range where she found the company of shepherds.

This miracle is also seen in modern times in the saintly life of Padre Pio.

Dioscorus pursued St. Barbara and had her brought back to Nicomedia and placed before the prefect Martinianus.

She was imprisoned in a dark prison cell where she was bathed in light, much in the same way that the German Guard testified about St. Maximilian Kolbe (WWII), who gave his life for others in a Nazi Concentration camp.

She was terribly tortured each day only to be healed during the night. Torches that were used to burn her had no affect, much like the miracle that took place at the martydom of St. Polycarp (155 A.D.), when fire had no affect on him.

¬†Ultimately, St. Barbara would be beheaded by her own Father. I can’t imagine this scene, as a Father, this is unbelievable.

Her martydom was December 5, 305 A.D. under the reign of Emperor Maximainus and prefect of Marcien (286-305). At her tomb, miracles continue through the intercession of this heavenly Saint who loved God above all else.

St. Barbara is the Patron Saint of artillery probably because of her Father, who was struck by lightning after killing his Daughter.

She has been honored by many nations as a Patron of their cannon, explosives, and artillery.

After watching the movie of St. Barbara, I was struck of how Andrea (The Walking Dead) and St. Barbara were prevalent in my mind.

One was fantasy, the other real. One suffered through tribulation in fantasy, the other suffered for real.

I love how St. Barbara had experience many miracles and signs from the Lord that have been experienced by other great saints.

God is real and he loves you as he does St. Barbara. I encourage you to take what is real and grow in His truths as given to us by His Holy Church. The following is the trailer for St. Barbara, you will have to read the English, but it is still good!


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