Monday, December 3, 2007

Holy Great Martyr Barbara

Troparion (Tone 8)
Let us honor holy Barbara, Destroying the snares of the enemy, she escaped from them like a bird with the help of the Cross as a weapon.

Kontakion (Tone 4)
Singing the praises of the Trinity,
you followed God by enduring suffering;
you renounced the multitude of idols,
O holy martyr Barbara.
In your struggles, you were not frightened by the threats of your torturers,
but cried out in a loud voice:
"I worship the Trinity in one Godhead."

It’s the eve of the feast of Holy Great-Martyr Barbara. As she is the patron saint of the artillery, there are fireworks over the city tonight. There is a big celebration in Aristotle Square, the heart of the city. Speeches have been made, the giant, municipal Christmas tree has been lit and so has the Christmas Ship. Entertainers are singing. Searchlights are raking the sky. The crowd is cheering and clapping.

We, meanwhile, are warm and quiet at home, watching it all on TV. We are only going to be here another week from today, and this will be one of our last evenings at home.

Ship? It’s a symbol of Christmas. You can read about it here. I also took this picture from that site.

My father was an artilleryman and my mother’s name is Barbara. When I was growing up, our parents always had St. Barbara’s Day parties and they were pretty wild, but they pale in comparison with this party!

I feel especially like celebrating, because this feast marks the one-year anniversary of my sister Barbara’s entrance into the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. God grant you many years, dear sister, and you, Mom, and all the Barbaras out there!

St. Barbara’s story, elements of which are obviously legendary, is here.