In search of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara sells itself as “the American Riviera”. It certainly seemed a welcoming spot to the Spanish conquistador who named it after the saint he believed had seen him through a storm. But who was she? And how has she come to be the patron saint of armourers, gunsmiths and miners? In the online magazine Mission & State, Jeff Wing provides the answers following a visit to the St Barbara Orthodox Monastery – surely the only religious community to have been founded with a tax rebate.

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