St. Barbara is the patroness for miners and field artillerymen. She was a Christian martyr, and the extremely beautiful daughter of a pagan named Dioscorus. Dioscorus protected her by locking her up in a tower, where she spent her days admiring God’s creations. She secretly became a Christian and dedicated her life to God. Ultimately, Barbara was tortured and beheaded for her faith. She offers protection (especially from lightning and fire) and the hope of a “good death” to those who wear her medallion.
In the Afro-Cuban religion of Santería, Barbara is syncretized with Chango, the deity of fire, lightning, and thunder. In Afro-Brazilian religions of Candomblé and Umbanda, she is often identified as Yansan, the orisha of wind and storms.