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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XII: December. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

December 4

St. Barbara, Virgin and Martyr

THIS holy virgin and martyr is honoured with particular devotion in the Latin, Greek, Muscovite, and Syriac calendars, but her history is obscured by a variety of false acts. Baronius prefers those who tell us, that she was a scholar of Origen, and suffered martyrdom at Nicomedia, in the reign of Maximinus the First, who raised the sixth general persecution after the murder of Alexander Severus, in 235. But Joseph Assemani shows the acts which we have in Metaphrastes and Mombritius to be the most exact and sincere. By these we are informed that St. Barbara suffered at Heliopolis in Egypt, in the reign of Galerius, about the year 306. This account agrees with the emperor Basil’s Menology, and the Greek Synaxary. There stood an old monastery near Edessa, which bore her name. 1 See Jos. Assemani in Calend. Univ. t. 5, p. 408.  1
Note 1. Jos. Assemani, Bibl. Orient. t. 1. p. 63. [back]