Santa Barbara (St. Barbara)

Br. Arturo Olivas, OFS

Artist's Narrative:
Santa Barbara was a 3rd century convert to Christianity from Nicomedia during the persecutions of Maximinus. Barbara’s father, a pagan, imprisoned her in a tower for embracing the new religion. After resisting all efforts to abandon her faith Barbara’s father decapitated her with a sword. At the moment he cut off her head a bolt of lightning struck him dead.

In New Mexico Santa Barbara is invoked for protection against lightning strikes, tempests, and thunder. An ancient rhyming prayer declares, “Santa Barbara doncella, libera nos del rayo y la centella – Holy virgin Barbara, protect us from thunderbolts and the flash.”

Her feast day is December 4.


Return to Previous Art Display.