Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saint Barbara

Saint Barbara crushing her infidel father,
with a kneeling donor
by Domenico Ghirlandaio, ca. 1473
December 4 is the Feast Day of Saint Barbara. The fourth century martyr is the traditional patron saint of artillerymen, armorers, gunsmiths, miners, and anyone who works with cannons and explosives. She is also invoked for protection against accidents arising from explosions of gunpowder.

St. Barbara was persecuted by her own father due to her commitment to her faith. While imprisoned, torches used in her torture were miraculously extinguished when they were brought near her. Eventually she was martyred by beheading, the execution carried out by her father's own hand. Tradition holds that he was struck by lightening on his way home afterwards and his body consumed by flame.

Today, the United States Army Field Artillery Association and the United States Army Air Defense Artillery Association maintain the Order of Saint Barbara as an honorary military society. Members of the US Army and US Marine Corp are eligible for nomination for membership.

December 4, sounds like a fitting day to visit the pistol range.

Order of Saint Barbara Medallion


  1. I linked to this post! People need more excuses to go shoot. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for checking in guys. Hope you get to shoot too!

  3. Let's not forget that the Spanish government-owned armaments factory that makes ammunition is named for her: Empresa Nacional Santa Barbara de Industrias Militares S.A. Toledo.

    I loves me their 7.62x51mm stuff.


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