Artillery Patron Saint & Molly Pitcher
Saint Barbara is usually represented standing by a tower, carrying the palm of a martya in her hand.
Often too, she holds a chalice and a sacramental wafer and sometimes cannon are displayed near her.
In present calendars, the Feast of Saint Barbara falls on December 4th, and is traditionally recognized
by formal Dining or a military dinner with a special Master of Ceremony, often involving presentation
of the Order of Saint Barbara.
Saint Barbara lived and died about the year 300 A.D. She was venerated as early as the 7th Century,
and the manner of her father’s death caused her to be regarded as the patron saint in time of danger
from thunderstorms, fires and sudden death. When gunpowder made its appearance in the Western
world, Saint Barbara was invoked for aid against accidents resulting from explosions and since early
artillery pieces had an unfortunate tendency to explode instead of actually firing the projectile, Saint
Barbara became the Patroness of Artillery in all Christendom.
The Order of Saint Barbara is an honorary military society of the United States Field Artillery. Both
Marine and Army field artillery, along with their military and civilian supporters are eligible for
membership. The most distinguished is the Ancient Order of Saint Barbara and those who are selected
for this honor have achieved a long-term, exceptional service to the field artillery surpassing even their
brethren in the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara.
Thus, Artillerymen of the present are linked with artillerymen of the past in a brotherhood of
professionalism, selfless service and sacrifice symbolized by Saint Barbara.    


Saint Barbara was the extremely beautiful daughter of a wealthy heathen named Dioscorus, who lived
near Nicomedia in Asia Minor. She was so beautiful, her father was fearful that she be demanded in
marriage and taken away from him, so he shut her up in a tower to protect her from the outside world.
Shortly before embarking on a journey, he commissioned a sumptuous bathhouse to be built for her,
approving the design before he departed. Barbara had heard of the teachings of Christ and while her
father was gone, she spent much time in contemplation. From the window of her tower, she looked out
upon the surrounding countryside and marveled at the growing things; the trees, the animals and the
people. She decided that all this must be part of a Master Plan and that the idols of wood and stone
worshipped by her parents must be condemned as false. Gradually she came to accept the Christian
faith. As her belief became firm, she directed that the builders redesign the bathhouse her father had
planned, adding a third window so that the three windows might symbolize the Holy Trinity. When her
father returned, he was enraged at the changes and infuriated when Barbara acknowledged that she
was a Christian. He dragged her before the prefect of the province, who decreed that she be tortured
and put to death by beheading. Dioscorus dragged her behind a horse to the top of a mountain and
there he beheaded her with his sword. As he did the deed, there was an enormous clap of thunder, he
was struck dead by lightning and his body consumed.

"Saint Barbara's Day is traditionally celebrated on the 4th of December"  
The American Revolutionary War
Order of Saint Barbara
Field Artillery
Honorable Order of
Molly Pitcher
Story of Molly Pitcher
"An American Heroine"
Hampton's Battery F
Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth
Saint Barbara