Fiesta de Santa Bárbara

The beautiful city of Santa Barbara in California, where I went to college, takes its name from Saint Barbara, the patron saint of armourers, artillerymen, architects, mathematicians, miners, and the Italian Navy, and today (4 December) is her feast day. (In Spanish, this day is la fiesta patronal en honor de Santa Bárbara.) Among other things, according to this account of Saint Barbara’s life, she was known for her beauty but never married:

“Barbara was born in the mid third century in Heliopolis, Phoenicia [the city of Baalbek in modern-day Lebanon, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site; see here] to her rich pagan father Dioscorus. Barbara was really beautiful and her father, in order to preserve her beauty and protect her from the world, locked her up in a very high tower. A case very similar to the fictional story Rapunzel. He only allowed her pagan teachers to see her. *** As a result of her extreme beauty, many men got to hear about her, and suitors from far and near came to seek her hand in marriage. Her father too kept mounting pressure on her to accept one of these suitors. Barbara declined them all and when she could no longer bear the pressure from her father, she asked him to stop pressurizing her into marriage as that could only bring a strain on their relationship.”

How much of this account is fiction and how much fact? Either way, as someone who loves mathematics (I have published several papers on game theory, a branch of mathematics) and who went to college at UCSB, I consider Saint Barbara as my patron saint! Below are four depictions of Barbara via Google Images:

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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1 Response to Fiesta de Santa Bárbara

  1. Oly says:

    Me recordastes que hoy es su dia, no se si tu sabes que en Cuba la adoran, esta en todas las iglesias Catolicas y mi hermana Elia Rosa, QEPD (que en paz descanse) era devota de ella, era su santo favorito, la imagen de Cuba es la que tiene la copa en la mano derecha y la espada en la izquierda, y como una anecdota te contare que alla se decia que era una santa muy celosa y sangrienta, te contare lo que a mi me paso, como yo siempre he dicho, soy Catolica de nacimiento,porque en Cuba casi toda la poblacion lo era, pero Bautista en la practica, yo me crie con la hija de nuestra vecina que eran Bautista, la senora era maestra y el esposo trabajaba en el correo, eramos de la misma edad, y siempre me llevaban a la iglesia con ellos 2 y 3 veces a la semana, y en el verano, a la escuela biblica, pero bueno, lo que a mi me paso fue que a los 2 anos de haber llegado aqui, que viviamos en la Witmer y la calle tercera, como yo siempre me he considerado que soy Bautista, precisamente, el 3 de Diciembre del 1963, estabamos un grupito de conocidos hablando de religion y yo les dije (que era cierto), que en un tiempo yo creia en ella y hasta le oraba y pedia, yo tenia 16 anos, pero como cristiana que era, ya no creia mas, porque en la Biblia no se menciona a los santos y mucho menos adorarlos, en Cuba la adoran muchisimo a ella y a San Lazaro, para hacerte la historia corta, al otro dia me levante, me fui a trabajar a la Electronica donde trabajaba, y alli en una maquina, empezando mi dia de trabajo, me cogi el dedo en una maquina, donde se hacian los relojes que tienen los automobiles, que indican las millas, la gasolina, etc y lo perdi a pedazos, mi dedo indice de la mano derecha, asi que no se si fue casualidad o castigo de ella, tuve el accidente el 4 de Diciembre.

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