Martyr (d. 304)
+ There is no doubt that a woman named Juliana was martyred in the year 304 in Nicomedia, Turkey. The few scant details of her life have been enhanced numerous legends through the centuries.
+ According to Saint Bede the Venerable, Juliana was born in Nicomedia and was the daughter a pagan nobleman named Africanus. As a child, she was betrothed to a senator named Eleusius.
+ Juliana was secretly baptized despite her father’s hatred of Christians. When the time of her wedding approached, Juliana refused to marry Eleusius. Standing firm in her conviction, she was handed over the governor and martyred in the year 304, during the persecution of the emperor Diocletian.
+ At the request of a nobleman named Sephonia, Juliana’s relics were transferred to Italy and were later enshrined in Naples.
+ Saint Juliana is honored as a miracle-worker and is a patron saint of the sick. Later legends about this saint tell of her struggles with the devil and she is often depicted in art leading a devil by a chain.
On this day the Church in Malta celebrates the Feast of the Shipwreck of Saint Paul. In chapter 28 of the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Luke recounts the time Paul and Luke spent in Malta as being graced with miracles of healing and he is especially grateful for the warm hospitality offered by the people of Malta. Saint Paul is honored as the patron saint of Malta.
“Blessed is the virgin who by denying herself and taking up her cross imitated the Lord, the spouse of virgins and prince of martyrs.”—Entrance Antiphon for the Mass of a Virgin-Martyr
O God, who gladden us today with the annual commemoration of blessed Juliana, graciously grant that we may be helped by her merits, just as our lives are lit up by the splendor of her example of chastity and fortitude. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For a Virgin-Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.