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The cult of Barbara

The cult of the patron saints developed in the Royal Hungarian Defence Forces from the 1930s, which included the celebration of the day of the arm of service, too. Barbara, an early Christian martyr, is the patron saint of the field and air defence artillerymen* besides the gunpowder manufacturers, the bell-founders (later the cannon-makers) and the miners.





They seek to place themselves under the protection of Barbara against unexpected death.
(*Considering our common roots, we celebrate the day of the air defence artillery and the field artillerymen together on 4 December each year, as this is the day of our patron saint, St. Barbara.)

Like the Barbara-day ceremonies in earlier times, the WING holds a commemoration each year, which also has developed into the central ceremony of the air defence by now. The air defence artillerymen are initiated on this occasion: this title is conferred on the officers and non-commisioned officers who have already commanded live firing. Their initiation is followed by a ceremonial dinner and the traditional Barbara-day ball.

There is a holy mass coupled with an ecumenical liturgy, held in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Matthias Church) in the castle district of Buda on 4 December each year, where the unit is represented together with the field artillerymen.

Located in front of the Peruska Mary-Chapel at the fields of Horvátzsidány in Vas County, the memorial park of professions and arts has been housing the statue of St. Barbara since July 2007 – among the patron saints of more than twenty other vocational orders and arts, thanks to the support from the Vas 'Honvéd' Comrade Association and the Unit.

The WING preserves the statue of the 'warrior' Barbara produced by the Zsolnay Factory of Pécs during World War II, a figure that has gone through a great deal of hardship,. The WING’s Barbara memorial room has been furnished with the inheritance of the Friendly Association of the Hungarian Royal 'Áron Gábor' 'Honvéd' Artillery Cadet School of Nagyvárad and the Unit's own items.