Poor Clare Colettine’s TMD ~ Feast of St. Barbara

Dear Little hearts,

Tomorrow is the feast of Saint Barbara, please join us, we do this every year!!!! and its something the children young and old will enjoy too!!!!

A blessed Advent, with love

Feast of Saint Barbara December 4th

The Feast of Saint Barbara falls on December 4th, during the first week of Advent. The day before her feast we collect bunches of suitable twigs/branches from various trees and bushes, namely, Pear, Apple, Chestnut, Poplar, Birch, Forsythia etc, bind 4 -5 branches together and place in individual jam jars filled with water. These so called, “Barbara branches” are distributed the following day on her feast, after the Legend of Saint Barbara has been read.If the twigs are placed in a warm room, everyone hopes that, her branches will the the first to burst into leaf on Christmas day, thus celebrating the birthday of life, Jesus Christ our Saviour.Children of all ages would enjoy this, and it is another good object lesson of having to wait patiently until its, “Time has come”…….until the branches burst into leaf and life. Perhaps you would like to read the legend of Saint Barbara, celebrate this feast as a family or within a prayer group context, or even just with a friend.

The Legend of Saint Barbara
A long, long time ago in Syria there lived a rich merchant who had a very beautiful daughter called Barbara. The Merchants name was Diokurus. He lived alone in a magnificent house with his daughter. He was fiercely protective and possessive of his daughter Barbara, and no one was allowed to speak to her, communicate with her, without his prior permission. He organised her meal times, her daily life, and bought all her clothing.
One day he made it known that he had to go on a long business journey, and as he was wont to do, in his absence Barbara was led and bidden to exist in a very great tower, her accommodation was on the very top floor, only Barbara and Diokurus possessed a key for the tower.
The room had two windows out of which Barbara could contemplate the view. “Barbara”, he said, ” This time I will be away longer than usual, but you will be quite safe, time will pass and I will bring you something back from my travels which will bring you joy for the rest of your life.” “What is it Father?”, enquired Barbara. But Diokurus only laughed.

But as it so happened one day, Barbara heard the good News of Christ Jesus being preached in the market place below, she quickly learnt of the birth of Jesus, his wonders, his suffering , death and his return to his Father in heaven. Barbara was secretly baptised into the Christian faith. And because she always wanted to have the Holy Trinity before her eyes, she had an additional window set in her flat at the top of the tower. So that whenever the light broke through the window she gave praise and thanks to the Trinity.
After some time her father returned from his journey, and on seeing the alterations and the addition of the third window his face fell, who had been in the tower in his absence and what was the meaning of the third window? Diokurus was furious when he heard that Barbara was a Christian and adoring the Blessed Trinity. He fell into a rage and commanded her to end such nonsense and that she was to marry the suitor that he had brought back with him, and with that he locked the door, imprisoning her in the tower.
Diokurus thought quite wrongly that his beautiful daughter would change her mind, but Barbara remained fast in her choice. For four weeks her father held her a prisoner in the tower allowing her only bread and water, demanding that she abandon Christ and promising her all the riches and blessings of the world. Barbara refused.
Outraged the father had Barbara thrown into prison, he handed her over into the power of the executioner. The Executioner tried with sweet words of persuasion to win Barbara back to her fathers will, but she would not yield.One day within the precincts of the prison, Barbara’s dress became entangled around a little pear tree and a small twig caught in her dress, on returning to her cell, she placed the twig in a container of water, then after some days the twig developed buds, and a little longer still, it blossomed. Barbara was overjoyed she clasped the twig in her hands and exclaimed, “I thought you were a dead twig, but out of your wood new life has sprung.”
On this very day, Barbara was dragged out by the executioner and beheaded by the sword. We know in faith that the appearance and the reality were something different, she appeared dead, but in reality her soul had flown before the throne of God, for she had been faithful to Christ until the end.
So make plans now, locate the trees from which you will be able to obtain your branches, and share this beautiful feast with us all.

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