December 4, 2014

Why Does St. Barbara Hold a Cup in Her Icons?

In Orthodox iconography St. Barbara is depicted with a cup in her hands because she is the protectress against sudden death and she does not want those about to die to be deprived of Holy Communion, thus this cup is the "cup of life".

We also often see her near a tower with three windows to symbolize the Holy Trinity, or holding a book (for those about to die), or holding the palm branch of martyrdom, among other things.