Saint Margaret with the dragon
Saint Barbara with the tower
Saint Catherine with the wheel
those are the three holy maids.
Today on 4th of December the second pre-Christmas character is appearing. St. Barbara besides St. Catherine of Alexandria and Margaret of Antioch , one of the “drei heiligen Madeln” (three holy Maids) has her Feast Day today.
These 3 holy Maids belongs to a group of saints venerated together in the Roman Catholic Church because of their intercession is believed to be particularly effective, especially against various diseases. This group of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (Nothelfer = helpers in need) originated in the 14th century at first in the Rhineland, largely as a result of the epidemic that became known as the Black Death (probably bubonic plague).
If you add St. Dorothea of Caesarea to the three holy Maids you will have the “quattuor virgines capitales” (the four especially holy virgins).
On 4th of December it is usual to bring branches of fruit-trees (cherry, apple, pear, plum, sometimes lilac, lime, almond or forsythia) into the house. They will blossom at Christmas.
There is also a weather lore for today. “Gibt Sankt Barbara Regen, bringt der Sommer wenig Segen.” meaning if there is rain on St. Barbara, the next summer will not be blessed. Thank God, today we have had sunshine almost the whole day and no rain. So we can hope for a great summer in 2014.
Today I also finished the knitting part of my Soumak Scarf Wrap. It is designed by Lisa Richardson and is published in Rowan Magazine 54. I still have to weave in all the ends, but I guess it will be done tomorrow.
Have a great Advent.