Exhibiting Historical Art: Out of the Vault: Stories of People and Things

Saint Barbara: Symbols

The Tower: the three windowed tower, often in miniature and held in the hand, is a reference to Saint Barbara's legend and a symbol of the Holy Trinity. A symbol frequently associated with military engineering emblems.

The Cannon: a modern symbol of Saint Barbara, a reference to her role as patron of artillerymen and a symbol frequently associated with artillery units' emblems

The Peacock Feather: a traditional Christian symbol of immortality due to the belief that peacock flesh does not decay. The peacock feather is frequently associated with Saint Barbara in reference to her home city of Heliopolis. Heliopolis was known as the city of the phoenix, for which the peacock was often substituted.

The Palm: a Christian symbol of martyrdom, in reference to Jesus's entry into Jerusalem.

The Crown: an early Christian symbol of immortality and martyrdom, in reference to the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ during his crucifixion.

The Chalice: symbol of the Sacrament, often associated with Saint Barbara in reference to her final wish for the grace of Sacrament. Saint Barbara is the only female saint to be depicted with the communion chalice and wafer.

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