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>Subject: Saint Barbara
>From: M Breakspear <[log in to unmask]>
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>I am new to this group so a few words to introduce myself. I am a
>civil engineer and a member of a number of caving and mining societies.
>live close to the freestone underground quarries at Box in Wiltshire UK
>have some knowledge of them.
>I have just returned from a rainy holiday in Alsace and was lucky
>be invited to spend a working day in Schauinsland mine over the border
>The Black Forest. In a niche at the top of one of the shafts was an
>of Saint Barbara who, I was told, is the patron saint of miners in that
>Does anyone know the history of Saint Barbara and if she has that role
>other countries? Mike Breakspear
Try searching for Santa Barbara on the web and you will find several
different versions of the tale. If your local library has " The lives of
the Saints ", it is worth consulting.
Santa Barbara was held captive in a tower, from which she escaped and
was persued; with her honour at stake, she fled towards the mountains,
one of which opened up and engulfed her.
The Santa Barbara tradition is still strong in Germany and Poland and
many of the Catholic nations.
Saint Andrew of Scotland is also held to be the patron Saint of other
miners but I know not of any shrines or effigies of him. This is not
mentioned in the Lives of the Saints, but in several tunneling books. At
the mouths of many of the alpine tunnels there are shrines to both Sts.
Andrew and Barbara. St Andrew is the same as in the San Andraeas fault
of the western United States.
I know of no miners shrines in the UK dedicated to either Santa Barbara
or Saint Andrew.
Please let me know what you turn up as this has been one of my
particular fields of interest for the last couple of years, and do get
in touch if your searches lead you nowhere.
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