For hundreds of years, every December 4, the Arm of Artillery of the Spanish Army has celebrated the day of its patron saint, Saint Barbara of Nicomedia.
In addition to the artillerymen, the Polytechnic Engineers of the Armament, Mechanics and Chemistry specialty of the Army also celebrate her as their patron saint. The patronage of Santa Bárbara and the artillery is one of the oldest patronages of the Spanish Armed Forces, dating back to the Middle Ages. The oldest documentary evidence of this patronage is from 1406, and it was made official in 1518 during the reign of Charles I.
Unlike what happens with other patronages of the Spanish Armed Forces, Saint Barbara is the patron saint of artillerymen in other countries as well, not only those of Hispanic heritage, but also the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Greece and Cyprus, among others. In Anglo-Saxon countries, she is not only the patron of artillerymen, but also of military engineers (a patronage linked to her status as patron of miners in the civil sphere).
The Spanish Army has published today an exciting video in honor of the Artillery Weapon on the day of its patron saint, recalling the origins of the Royal College of Artillery of Segovia, founded in 1764 and predecessor of the current Academy of Artillery, which has its headquarters in that city (the video is in Spanish, you can activate the automatic subtitles in English in the bottom bar of the player):
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