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St. Julian the Hospitalarian

Name: St. Julian the Hospitalarian
Date: 9 January

Saint Julian and Saint Basilissa, though married, lived by mutual consent in perpetual chastity.They sanctified themselves by the most perfect exercises of an ascetic life, and employed theirrevenues in relieving the poor and the sick. For this purpose they converted their house into akind of hospital, in which they sheltered up to a thousand poor people. Basilissa attended those ofher sex in separate lodgings, and Julian, who for his charity is known as the Hospitaler, cared forthe men.

Egypt, where they lived, was in those days blessed with persons who, either in the cities or in thedeserts, devoted themselves to the most perfect exercises of charity, penance, and mortification.Conversions were numerous, and persecutions by furious pagans followed as the numbers ofChristians increased. Basilissa, after having survived seven of those, died in peace, foretelling toher husband that he would die a martyr. Julian lived afterwards for a number of years, buteventually received the crown of a glorious martyrdom in 313. His interrogation and his tortureswere accompanied by astonishing prodigies and numerous conversions.

With him died thirty-one other persons, including a priest named Anthony, a new Christian namedAnastasius, Celsus, the seven-year-old son of the judge who sentenced Julian, Marcianilla, themother of Celsus, who when she came to visit her son was won over to the faith, and many otherChristians. Spared by fire and wild beasts, Saint Julian finally was decapitated. His tomb becameillustrious by many great miracles, including the cure of ten lepers on the same day.

Many churches and hospitals, in both the East and in the West, bear the name of one or another ofthese martyrs. Four churches at Rome and three in Paris are dedicated to Saint Julian.

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

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