Sunday 16 February 2020

The Festival of Saint Julian, February 16

It is worth remembering that our Irish calendars contain entries not only relating to the feast days of our homegrown saints, but also to those of the Universal Church. Following on from yesterday's festival of martyrs, Canon O'Hanlon also notes the commemoration of another martyr on February 16, Saint Julian of Caesarea:

Festival of St. Julian.

The following stanza, extracted from the "Feilire," in the "Leabhar Breac" copy, is thus translated by
Professor O'Looney :—

To the virgin Julian,
The name [honoured] to the borders of the clouds;
By the relation of the tidings of his adventures,
The demon he completely extirpated (or fettered).

There are no less than four female saints, venerated as virgins and martyrs, in the ancient Church Kalendars, at the 16th of February. These are :—

Juliana, a virgin, of Nicomedia, and a martyr, venerated at Bruxelles, in Belgium; Juliana, virgin and martyr, at Verona, in Italy; Juliana, a Roman virgin and martyr, at Bononia, in Italy; as also, a Juliana, one of the companions of St. Ursula, a virgin and martyr, whose name is inscribed on the Kalendar, and whose relics are preserved in the Cathedral Church of Osnaburgh, in Westphalia. But, in addition to the foregoing, and at this same date, there was a St. Julian, a bishop, and a martyr, with a vast number of companions, martyrs, in Egypt as also, a St. Julian, a martyr, with many other martyr companions, at Caesarea, in Palestine. To the former of these latter saints, we believe the stanza in the "Feilire" has special reference, especially, as this holy man and his festival have been noticed in the ancient Martyrology, attributed to St. Jerome. It is said, that no less than five thousand shared his passion in Asia, while their memories are celebrated, both in the Eastern and Western Churches.

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