Saint Barbara was the daughter of the rich and illustrious pagan, Dioscorus. After the death of his wife, he ensured the utmost care be taken for his daughter, and because of her extraordinary beauty and knowledge, he hid her in a tower. Here, the only contact she had with other people was when her private tutors came to teach her, and therefore, she was able to contemplate the mysteries of God, Whom she did not know. She decided that she would devote her life to finding the Creator of this world, its beauties she beheld from her bedroom window. Many sought her hand in marriage, however she wished to live in chastity. Her father thought this was because of her estranged life in the tower, and so he allowed her to leave and travel into the city. Here, she chanced upon young Christian women who taught her about Christ and she accepted baptism. Having been instructed in the faith, she returned to her own city. During this time, Dioscorus was building a bath house for his daughter, ordering two windows to be built. Barbara, however, taking advantage of her father’s absence for work instructed the workers to build a third window, symbolising the trinity. On one of the walls, she miraculously engraved a cross with her finger on the marble. Upon his return, Dioscorus was unimpressed with the changes to his plan, and Barbara revealed her faith in Christ to him. In a furious rage, he drew his sword to slaughter her. She managed to escape, only to eventually be found by him in some bushes. Her father beat her terribly and gave her over to the prefect of the city to torture her. Her prison cell was left bloodstained, but Christ visited the virgin and healed her of her wounds. After countless more torments where the Saint’s flesh was torn from her body, Dioscorus willingly insisted to execute his own daughter. Taking her, and another fellow confessing Christian, Juliana, out of the city, they stripped them naked, only to be clothed in a splendid robe by angels. The two martyrs were beheaded, Barbara by the hands of her own father. The wrath of God was quick to punish the evil man by striking him with lightning.
Βαρβάραν τὴν Ἁγίαν τιμήσωμεν· ἐχθροῦ γὰρ τὰς παγίδας συνέτριψε, καὶ ὡς στρουθίον ἐῤῥύσθη ἐξ αὐτῶν, βοηθείᾳ καὶ ὅπλῳ τοῦ Σταυροῦ ἡ πάνσεμνος.
Ἦχος πλ. α’. Τὸν συνάναρχον Λόγον.
Τῆς Τριάδος τὴν δόξαν ἀνακηρύττουσα, ἐν τῷ λουτρῷ τρεῖς θυρίδας ὑπεσημήνω σοφῶς, κοινωνίαν πατρικὴν λιποῦσα πάνσεμνε, ὅθεν ἠγώνισαι λαμπρῶς, ὡς παρθένος εὐκλεής, Βαρβάρα Μεγαλομάρτυς. Ἀλλὰ μὴ παύση πρεσβεύειν, ἐλεηθήναι τᾶς ψυχᾶς ἠμῶν.
Ἦχος δ’. Ὁ ὑψωθεὶς ἐν τῷ Σταυρῷ.
Τῷ ἐν Τριάδι εὐσεβῶς ὑμνουμένῳ, ἀκολουθήσασα σεμνὴ Ἀθληφόρε, τὰ τῶν εἰδωλων ἔλιπες σεβάσματα· μέσον δὲ τοῦ σκάμματος, ἐναθλοῦσα Βάρβαρα, τυράννων οὐ κατέπτηξας, ἀπειλὰς ἀνδρειόφρον, μεγαλοφώνως μέλπουσα ἀεί, Τριάδα σέβω τὴν μίαν θεότητα.
Troparion — Tone 8
Let us honor the holy martyr Barbara, / for as a bird she escaped the snares of the enemy, / and destroyed them through the help and defense of the Cross.
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 God-head.”