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Wednesday, December 4, 2019


St. barbara’s branch


Matthew, Chapter 15, verse 32
Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.”

This chapter of Matthew records the feeding of the four thousand. Some would say that God has no fear but here we see that Christ was afraid for the welfare of the multitude. He knows our needs and is concerned for them. After all, “I am the good shepherd… I know my sheep, and mine know me.” (John 10:14)

Christ knows that even if our hearts desires are in the right place and we have perfect self-control we must acknowledge the legitimate needs of the body. We are both spirit and body; the perfection of the creator, which the fallen angels despise. We must care for both because both are the gift of God.

Christ says, “They have been with me now for three days and have had nothing to eat”. I suggest that we follow His advice starting this week if we can to participate in Mass sometime during our midweek so we may not collapse along the way.

I also suggest now would be a good time to look for a retreat of three days in which you can be with the Lord knowing He will not send you away hungry.

Feast of St. Barbara [1]


Barbara (from Nicomedia) was the daughter of a pagan noble who worshipped false gods. Because of her striking beauty, her father enclosed her in a tower to hide her from the snares of men. Barbara vowed virginity, and during an absence of her father had a third window added to her quarters in honor of the Blessed Trinity; at the same time, she also adorned her bath with the sign of the holy Cross. Upon his return her father was so angered over these changes that a miracle was needed to save her life. She was presented before the magistrate, subjected to much torturing, and finally her own father wielded the sword that severed her head. Immediately God's vengeance struck him dead. The holy virgin is highly honored both in the East and the West as patroness of artillery men and of miners. She is especially invoked for preservation from sudden death. She is one of the "Fourteen Holy Helpers."

In the past, the following prayer to St. Barbara was often recited:

Saint Barbara, thou noble bride,
To thee my body I confide
As well in life as at life's end.
Come, aid me when I breathe my last,
That I may, ere here all is past,
Receive the Blessed Sacrament!

Barbara Branches

St. Barbara, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, is the patron saint of artillerymen, miners, and a happy death. Though her feast on December 4 obviously belongs to the cycle of saints and not to the temporal cycle of Advent, there is a custom observed in her honor that ties into the meaning of the Advent season. A Barbara branch is the name given to a twig that is broken from a fruit tree (especially cherry), placed in a bowl of water, and kept in a warm, well-lit part of the house, such as the kitchen. According to legend, if the Barbara branch blooms on or before Christmas Day, good luck will come to the person whose branch it is. Aside from this harmless superstition, Barbara branches are reminiscent of the image from Isaiah of Christ as a Flower from the root of Jesse (Is. 11.2; the Epistle for Advent Ember Friday); they can thus be instructive in teaching children the meaning of Advent and Christmas. They are also used as the Saint's tribute to the Christ Child in the manger, lovingly placed in the crèche when they have blossomed.

Things to Do

·         Celebrating for the Feast of St. Barbara. See also Painting Angels, Saints and Their Symbols for a description of St. Barbara's symbols.
·         Have a St. Barbara's Party, Syrian Style.
·         Further reading:
-          Encyclopedia of Catholic Saints
-          Short Biography and History by Father Weiser.
-          Read about the German custom of St. Barbara's Twig, where every member of the family puts a small cherry or peach branch into water so that it will blossom on Christmas. If you have a young lady in your home desiring marriage, the custom of St. Barbara's Cherry Twigs will have St. Barbara pick the right husband for young unmarried girls. An alternative idea to this custom would be forcing Amaryllis or other bulbs to bloom for Christmas. Start the bulbs today!
·         St. Barbara is the patron of artillerymen. Offer your rosary or say a prayer for all our enlisted men and women who are in harm's way. This page provides the Legend of St. Barbara and the explanation why she is the patron of artillerymen. Read the Ballad of St. Barbara by G. K. Chesterton.


·         Read about Barbórka, Miners Day, which is celebrated in Poland and other European countries.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         54 Day Rosary day 34


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