Saint Barbara, in Saint Savior parish, Jerusalem | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Saint Barbara, in Saint Savior parish, Jerusalem


Tuesday the 4th of December, in Saint Savior parish in Jerusalem , Saint Barbara feast was deeply felt in the Middle Eastern world and also here in the Holy Land ; a feast which is abundant in traditions and customs.
Mass was presided by the parish priest, f. Feras Hijazin who, during his homily, briefly recalled the courageous life of this martyr saint.
In f. Feras words there was a bid to follow Saint Barbara's example and use, like she did, the " tools" of faith and perseverance, following the way that leads to Advent.
After the blessing, F. Artemio Vitores, the Custodial Vicar, for everyones joy lit the Christmas tree which is located in Saint Savior's convent entrance.

In the Middle East and here in the Holy Land , the faithful follow the special tradition of sharing, after mass, a cake called “ Burbara”, blessed by the priest and baked only in this occasion.
The cake is prepared with different types of wheat, boiled in sugar and flavored, it is decorated with dried fruit. It is distributed to families and elderly people; this is to remind people about the wheat Saint Barbara would eat during her imprisonment.
There are many legends about Saint Barbara' s life (the Greek origin of her name means foreigner), but all the sources show us that the date and place of her birth is in 273 in Nicomedia.
A single child of pagan parents, her mother died when Barbara was still a child and her father Dioscoro, Emporor Massimiano Erculeo 's aide, was a rich and influential man, who hated Christianity. Barbara, was inspired by strong feelings towards Christianity and decided to offer her life to God. She secretly embraced Christianity , and decided to receive the sacrament of rebirth. Dioscuro, her father, who was hostile to his daughter's Christian vocation ordered to lock her up in a tower, from which she was able to escape. To run away from her father's wrath, Barbara first destroyed the pagan statues in her father's villa and then hid in the woods. She was found and handed over to the prefect Marciano, who tried to force her to abandon her faith. Barbara did not falter withstanding terrible tortures she had to endure. The 4th of December she was decapitated by her father Dioscoro hands, with the slash of a sword.
Saint Barbara is the patron of all churches in the world. Protector of artificers, artillery men, miners, carpenters and firemen and invoked as protector of sudden death.