Barbara

(? fourth century)
   Legendary Saint.
   Little certain is known of the life of St Barbara. According to legend she was shut up in a tower by her father to be protected from men. So great was her beauty that princes came from far and wide to woo her. While her father was away she was converted to Christianity and wanted to live as a hermit. Her father was furious. She was handed over to the secular authorities and died a martyr’s death. Her father also died, having been struck by lightning. No firm date can be given for these events and Nicomedia, Heliopolis, Tuscany and Rome have all, at different times, laid claim to be the site of her martyrdom. She was a very popular saint in the Middle Ages and even today is invoked by those in danger of lightning.
   D.H. Farmer (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 3rd edn (1992).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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