St. Barbara was the daughter of a rich pagan named
Dioscorus. She was born in Nicomedia and was carefully
guarded by her father, who kept her shut up in a tower to
protect her from the outside world. She secretly became a
Christian and asked her maid to destroy all the idol statues that her father had left around her. Her father became very angry at her action and brought her before Martinian, the prefect of the province, who had her cruelly tortured. Barbara held true to her faith. She was thrown in a dark prison. During the night, she was bathed with light, and her wounds were miraculously healed. Torches that were to be used to burn her went out as soon as they came near her. Finally, she was condemned to
December death by beheading. Her father himself carried out the death sentence in the year 235.
The general belief among Lebanese Christians is that St.
Barbara disguised herself as various characters to elude the Romans who were persecuting her; hence, on her feast (Eid El-
Burbara), children go out masquerading. May her prayers be
St. Saba, Confessor, December 5
St. Saba was born of pious Christian parents, John and
Sophia, in Cappadocia. John was a military commander. When
St. Saba was five years old, his parents left him with an uncle
nearby monastery and studied the Holy Scriptures. His parents
returned and urged him to join the world again and plan to
marry. St. Saba refused and was tonsured a monk at age
seventeen. So pure was his asceticism and prayer that the saint
was given the gift of working miracles. He spent ten years at
the monastery before going to Jerusalem, then to St. Euthymius
the Great, and then to the monastery under St. Theoctistus.
Later, he lived in a cave for five years where many gathered
around him seeking monastic life. He built a large monastery
for them, where 250 members lived and prayed. St. Saba
founded several other monasteries. Many miracles occurred
through the prayers of St. Saba. One of these was an abundant
rain, after praying to God, in the time of drought in Palestine.
St. Saba reposed in the Lord in the year 532. May his prayers
be with us.