Martyr Julian of Dalmatia

The Holy Martyr Julian suffered during the reign of Antoninus Pius (138-161) in the Italian province of Campagna. The governor Flavian gave orders to search out and bring Christians to him for trial. During this time the young Christian Julian arrived in Campagna from Dalmatia. Having met with soldiers of the governor, he greeted them with the words: “Peace, brothers!” The soldiers began to interrogate him, asking where he was from and what faith he confessed. Julian, willing to suffer and die for Christ, bravely declared that he was a Christian. The soldiers were amazed at the courage of the youth, but obeying their orders, they bound him and led him to the governor. “We shall see,” they said, “how true your words are, whether you are willing to die for the Crucified One.”

Having undergone a beating, the saint prayed that the Lord would grant him the strength to endure the torture to the end. His prayer was heard, and he heard a Voice: “Fear not, Julian, I am with you and shall give you strength and courage.” The holy youth was locked up in a prison, called “the Cold Pit,” in which they held him for seven days without food or water. An angel of God brought food and heartened the confessor.

At the following interrogation the governor harassed the youth, saying, that it was shameful for such a handsome youth to worship the Crucified One, and urged him to offer sacrifice to idols. Saint Julian replied that he was prepared to die for the true Faith. The governor gave orders to tie the youth to a tree and beat him. The martyr began to pray and again heard a Voice: “Fear not, Julian, remain brave.” Saint Julian turned to the crowd standing about, and said, “Listen, accursed ones, do not trust your gods, which you have made with your hands. Know, rather, the God Who out of nothing, has created Heaven and earth.”

After his speech more than 30 men were converted to Christ, and they again led off the saint to prison. In the morning, when new tortures began, they announced that the temple of the pagan god Serapis and the idols standing in it were destroyed. Everyone arrived in shock and was terrified, but the Christians were heartened and glorified Christ God. The pagans attributed this destruction to magical power, and they demanded his immediate execution.

They decided to kill the holy youth at the site of a ruined pagan temple. Before execution, Saint Julian knelt and prayed, thanking the Lord for granting him to endure death for His Holy Name. A third time he heard the Voice, summoning him to the Kingdom of Heaven. They beheaded the holy martyr with a sword, and he departed to the Lord, Whom he loved more than earthly life.