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St. Julia

Name: St. Julia
Date: 23 May

Saint Julia was a noble virgin of Carthage, who, when the city was taken by Genseric in439, was sold for a slave to a pagan merchant of Syria. In the most mortifyingemployments of her station, by cheerfulness and patience she found a happiness andcomfort which the world could not give. Whenever she was not employed in householdaffairs, her time was devoted to prayer and reading books of piety.

Her master, who was charmed with her fidelity and other virtues, thought proper to takeher with him on one of his voyages to Gaul. When he reached the northern part ofCorsica, he cast anchor and went ashore to join the pagans of the place in an idolatrousfestival. Julia was left at some distance, because she would not be defiled by thesuperstitious ceremonies, which she openly spurned. The governor of the island, Felix, abigoted pagan, asked who this woman was who dared to insult the gods. The merchantinformed him that she was a Christian, and that all his authority over her was too weak toprevail upon her to renounce her religion; nonetheless, he found her so diligent andfaithful he could not part with her. The governor offered him four of his best slaves inexchange for her. But the merchant replied, “No; all you are worth will not purchase her;for I would lose the most valuable thing I have in the world rather than be deprived ofher.”

Nonetheless Felix, while the inebriated merchant was asleep, attempted to compel her tosacrifice to his gods. He offered to procure her liberty if she would comply. The Saintmade answer that she was as free as she desired to be, as long as she was allowed to serveJesus Christ. The pagan, offended by her undaunted and resolute air, in a transport ofrage caused her to be struck on the face, and the hair of her head to be torn off. Finallyhe ordered her to be hanged on a cross until she expired. Certain monks from the isle ofGorgon transported her relics there, but in 763 the king of Lombardy transferred them toBrescia, where her memory is celebrated with great devotion.

Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the

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