December 18, 2019 - Kiahk 8, 1736
Martyrdom of the Saints: Barbara and Juliana
On this day also Sts. Barbara and Juliana, were martyred. Barbara was the daughter of a noble man from one of the countries in the east, called Dioscorus, during the days of Maximianus the Emperor, in the beginning of the third Christian century. Because of his strong love for her, he built her a tower to live in. The saint always raised up her eyes to the sky from the top of the tower and contemplated the beauty of the sky and what was in it: the sun, the moon and the stars. She came to the conclusion that they must have an able and wise maker and that would be none other than the Almighty God who created them. Origen, the scholar, happened to be in this area and was informed of the saint. He went to her and taught her the principles of Christianity. There were two windows in the bathroom and she ordered a third one to be opened and a cross to be placed over the water basin. When her father came to see her and saw the changes that were done, he asked her for the reason. She told him, Don't you know, my father, that with the Holy Trinity everything is complete, and here are three windows in the name of the Holy Trinity. This sign is the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, wherein was the salvation of the whole world. I ask you, 0 my dear father, to turn away from the wrong way that you are in and worship the God Who created you.
When her father heard these words, he became angry, drew his sword and ran after her. She fled, and he ran after her. There was a rock in front of her that split into two halves and she went through. The rock then returned to its earlier state. Her father went around the rock and found her hidden in a cave. He jumped over her like a wolf, seized her and took her to Marcianus, the governor. The Governor talked to her kindly, promising her many things. Then he threatened her, but could not take away her love for the Lord Christ. Thereupon, he ordered her to be tortured with different kinds of torture. There was a damsel called Juliana, who watched St. Barbara while she was being tortured and wept for her. Juliana saw the Lord Christ strengthening and comforting St. Barbara; she was enlightened and believed in the Lord Christ. They cut off her head and that of St. Barbara and they both received the crown of martyrdom. St. Barbara's father perished shortly after and so did the Governor who tortured her. The water of the basin that had the cross over it in the tower had the power to heal everyone who washed with it. They placed the bodies of these two saints in a church outside of the city of Galatia. Years later, they relocated the body of St. Barbara to the church in Cairo which is named after her to this day. May Their prayers be with us. Amen.