Saint Barbara was sanctioned as Artillery’s Patron Saint in 1829 and on the 4th of December of the same year, an official celebration took place in Nafplion (A town in Peloponnese which was Capital of Greece that time).
Santa Barbara lived, was tortured and died during Maximilian’s kingship. She was the only daughter of the rich greek idolater Dioskouros, who was the satrap of Nicomedia. In spite of the fanatic idolaters of her birth environment Santa Barbara was enlightened by the Holy Speech’s truth and, while still young, she embraced Cristianism.
This caused her father’s anger, and he used every possible mean to dissuade her, e.g. torments. But when he showed her proud and stable attitude, he surrendered her to the commander of the province in order to punish her. The commander was impressed by the special beauty of the young lady and tried to bring her back to idolatry. But when he showed her irrevocable decision not to deny Christ, he submitted her in horrible martyrdoms. That was the reason she was named Great Martyr.
Finally, she was beheaded by her own father’s sword, as her biographer Simon says. And according the tradition, while her father was leaving his daughter’s place of slaughter, Holy Justice burnt the executioner father with a thunderbolt.
The fire of artillery symbolizes that punishing thunderbolt.