Saint Barbara - History, Neck Icons and Images

St. Barbara lived in the III century in the city of Iliopolis of Phoenician. Her father, Dioscour (Dioscor), was a pagan and representative of the aristocracy in Asia Minor under Emperor Maximian. She was very special and was locked up by her father in the tower, to hide her from prying eyes. During the period of imprisonment, Saint Varvara, studying the world around her, who was visible to her from the windows, came to the idea of having a single Creator. When the father, for the purposes of her marriage, allowed her to leave the tower, Varvara met the Christians of Iliopolis and was baptized.


When the father learned about the religion of his daughter, Varvara was severely tortured: scourged with oxen veins, and wounds were rubbed with sackcloth. The ruler of the city of Martian gave his father the right to execute a trial of his daughter, who beheaded Saint Varvara. Dioscuri and Martiana suffered retribution, both of them were burned by lightning. Together with Saint Varvara, Saint Juliana was executed, who openly declared herself a Christian during the torture of Saint Barbara.


In the VI century the relics of the holy martyr were moved to Constantinople. As the Orthodox tradition says, in 1108 the princess Varvara Komnina, the daughter of the Byzantine emperor Alexei Komnin, before her departure to Kievan Rus asked for her healing powers from her father. Her husband, Grand Duke Sviatopolk Izyaslavich (in baptism - Jihail), who built a stone church in Kiev a year earlier, with honor placed there the healing powers of the Great Martyr and founded the St. Michael's Golden-domed Monastery. In 1644, at the Kiev Metropolitan Petra Mogile, part of the finger of the Great Martyr was given to the Chancellor of the Polish Kingdom, Georgy Osolinsky. In 1656 the Kiev Metropolitan Sylvester transferred part of the relics to the Antiochian patriarch Makarii. After the destruction of the Golden-domed Mikhailovsky Monastery in the 1930s, the relics of St. Barbara are kept in the Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev and reverently revered as exuding miraculous healings.