>The Saints Come Marching In

>This is a big week for feast days of well-known and beloved Orthodox Saints. December 4 is the feast day of St. John of Damascus, defender of holy icons. He is especially dear to my heart since I am an iconographer. But since I wrote an extensive blog post about him on this day last year, which you can read here, I won’t write about him again today.

Instead, I’m going to write about another Orthodox saint who is also commemorated on December 4—the Holy Martyr Barbara. But wait—I just found a blog with a post about Saint Barbara, here. I don’t know the blog’s author, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, but she has some good stories about Saint Barbara.

Here’s another site that tells the story of Saint Barbara.
And another one. We used to host parties in our home on her feast day… complete with a “bonfire” in the yard, or just letting the children light sprinklers in lieu of a bonfire…. (read the stories to get the meaning of the bonfire)… and we’d plant wheat seeds in tiny cups (again, read the story) and the children would take them home and water them and little grassy shoots would grow up. The idea was you could cut the grass and put it in your family’s Christmas crèche to be the hay in the manger.

Saturday (December 6) is the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas, so I’ll include him in this post. Again, I wrote about him last year, with photos, which you can read and see here. At our church we’ll celebrate with Vespers Friday night and Divine Liturgy Saturday morning, and my husband and I have been invited to a party on Friday night at the home of a family who have two children named for Saints John and Nicholas. I love how these traditions and celebrations become part of our home lives.

Can you tell I’m a bit blog weary? All I’m doing is linking to other sites…. But there’s a good reason for that. I spent five hours writing—actually writing—today. A writer friend who encouraged me to start this blog, back in August of 2007 warned me not to let it suck all my writing energy away. She said it would either feed my creative energy, getting my juices going for my “real work” each day, or it would sap those juices for itself, leaving me with nothing left for my essays or the next chapter of my book in progress. I see her point, and many mornings I start out on the blog and never get to the other work.
Not today. Today I was a real writer. So there’s just not much left for the blog tonight.
(It’s after midnight on Wednesday—on the eve of the Feast of Saints Barbara and John of Damascus as I write this, but it will post on Thursday.) But you know me—I’ll be back in a couple of days.

Holy Saints John, Barbara and Nicholas, pray to God for us!


  • brandon

    December 4, 2008
  • caitlyn

    December 5, 2008
  • Susan Cushman

    December 5, 2008

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