Saint Barbara

Saint Barbara (Sviata Varvara). Martyr, born in Nicomedia, believed to have been killed in 306, and revered in Kyivan Rus’. Her life story was well known in Ukraine, and it was commonly believed that her remains were taken from Constantinople to Kyiv in 1108 and held in the Saint Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery until its ruin. Her feast day (17 December [4 December OS]) generally marked the transition from the fall cycle to the winter cycle of activities. Folk beliefs associated with Saint Barbara stress her beneficial powers for pregnant women and her protection of people against skin diseases.

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