partly from the St. Barbara site
St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church - 27 Forsyth Street, NYC - originally built in 1892 as a synagogue for Congregation Kol Israel Anshe Poland, this building was acquired by the Greek Orthodox Church in 1932.
It is with great pride that we welcome you to Saint Barbara's website. Our goal is to make your log in with us friendly and personal, just like being one of the family. Saint Barbara, located in the heart of Chinatown, has been servicing the spiritual needs of the Orthodox Christians since the mid 1920's. We are continuing to do so up to this present day. We are the beautiful building you see when you exit east on the Manhattan Bridge. Since September 11th we are the only Greek Orthodox Church on the lower east side. Our sister church, Saint Nicolas on Cedar Street was lost on that tragic day.
Saint Barbara throughout history has been the patron saint of artillerymen and firemen. She is also the protector against sudden death. True to her example, our community became a National Orthodox Relief center from that day forward.
Saint Barbara, known in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the Great Martyr Barbara (3rd century - December 4, 306), was a Christian saint and martyr. Although there is no reference to her in the authentic early Christian writings, nor in the original recension of Saint Jerome's martyrology, veneration of her was common from the seventh century. Because of doubts about the historicity of her legend, she was removed from the liturgical calendar of the Roman rite in 1969. However, she continues to be a popular saint in modern times, perhaps best known as the patron saint of artillerymen, military engineers, miners and others who work with explosives because of her old legend's association with lightning, and also of mathematicians. Many of the thirteen miracles in a 15th-century French version of her story turn on the security she offered that her devotees would not die without making confession and receiving extreme unction.