St. Barbara, Nun-Martyr, of Russia


Commemorated on July 5

St. Barbara died with St. Elizabeth on July 5, 1918, the day after the murder of Tsar Nicholas and his family. The two nuns, who had been confined at the nearby village of Alopaevsk, were thrown into a mineshaft by Soviet executioners, and grenades were tossed in after them. St. Elizabeth remained alive for several hours, and could be heard singing hymns by nearby villagers who crawled up to the mineshaft after the murderers had left the area.

A few days later, the bodies of St. Elizabeth and St. Barbara were recovered from the mineshaft after the pro-Tsarist armies took Alopaevsk. They were ultimately taken to Jerusalem in 1920, and buried in the church of St. Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives.

Troparion (Tone 4) –

Emulating the Lord's self-abasement on the earth,
You gave up royal mansions to serve the poor and disdained,
Overflowing with compassion for the suffering.
And taking up a martyr's cross,
In your meekness
You perfected the Saviour's image within yourself,
Therefore, with Barbara, entreat
Him to save us all, O wise Elizabeth.

Kontakion (Tone 3) –

In the midst of worldliness,
thy mournful heart dwelt in Heaven;
in barbaric godlessness,
Your valiant soul was not troubled;
You longed to meet your Bridegroom
as a confessor,
and He found you worthy of your martyric purpose.
O Elizabeth, with Barbara,
Your brave companion,
Pray to your Bridegroom for us.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)