THE LIFE OF ST. JULIAN
Chapter 30 of the Golden Legend by Jacobus Voragine (1275), translated by William Caxton, 1483. This "reader's version" of the text provides section headings, paragraph breaks, and explanatory notes.
St. Julian, Bishop of Le MansSt. Julian was bishop of Cenomanence. Le Mans It is said that it was he that was said called Simon the leper, whom our Lord healed of his measelry, leprosy and bade Jesu Christ to dinner, and after the Ascension of our Lord, he was ordained of by the apostles bishop of Emmaus,1 full of great virtues. He appeared to the world,2 he raised three dead men, and after he ended his days in great praising of God. Of this St. Julian some say that this is he that pilgrims and wayfaring men call and require ask for good harbourage because our Lord was lodged in his house, but it seemeth better that it is he that slew his father and mother ignorantly, of whom the history is here after.
St. Julian of AuvergneThere was another Julian born in Alvernia, Auvergne which was of noble lineage, and yet more noble in faith and in virtue, which for the great desire that he had to be martyred, he offered himself to the tyrants where he had not forfeited. been found out (?)
Now it happed that Crispinus, which was one of the governors of Rome, sent to him one of his ministers for to put him to death. Anon as as soon as the minister came to him, he issued out went out of his place and came tofore him, and offered to him to suffer death, and his head was smitten off. And they took the head, and showed it to St. Feriol that was his fellow, and said they would so do of him if he sacrificed not, and because he would not obey to them they slew him, and took the head of St. Julian, and the body of St. Feriol, and buried them both in one pit, and a great while after St. Mamertine, bishop of Vienne, found the head of St. Julian between the hands of St. Feriol, all so whole as incorrupt as if it had been buried that same day.
Among the other miracles of St. Julian it is said that a deacon took all the white sheep that were of the church of St. Julian, and the shepherds defended them, but he said to them that St. Julian ate never no mutton, and anon immediately, very soon after a fever took him, so great and hot that he knowledged acknowledged, admitted that he was of by the martyr so burnt, and he did water to be cast on him for to cool him. And anon issued out of his body such a fume and smoke, and therewith so great a stench, that all they that were present were constrained to flee, and anon after he died. Another miracle happed of a man of a village that on a Sunday would ear plow his lands, and when he took the share plowshard to make clean his coulter, cutting blade it cleaved to his hand. And two years after, at the prayer of St. Julian in the church, he was healed.
Saints Julian and JuliusThere was another Julian which was brother to one named Julius. These two brethren went to the Emperor Theodosius, which was a very christian man, and they prayed him that they might destroy all the idols that they might find, and that they might edify build churches, each which thing the emperor granted them, and wrote that all men should obey them and help them, upon pain to lose their heads.
Now it happed that they edified a church, and all men by the commandment of the emperor obeyed and helped them. It happed that there were some men that led a cart which should pass by, and thought how they might do and pass without arresting stopping for to help them, and they thought that one of them should lie on the cart as he were dead, and thereby they would excuse them, and so they did, and bade him that lay in the cart to hold his eyes closed till they were past the pass.
And when they came in the place where they edified the church, Julian and Julius, his brother, said to them: My sons, tarry a while and come and help us to work.
They answered that they might not for they carried a dead man.
St. Julian said to them: Why lie ye so?
They answered: Sir, we lie not, it is so as we say to you.
And St. Julian said to them: So may it fall to you as ye say.
And anon they drove forth their oxen and passed forth. And when they were passed a little they called their fellow that he should arise and drive forth the oxen for to go the faster, and he answered not one word.
And they called him again on high and said: Art thou out of thy wit? Arise up and drive forth the beasts, and he moved ne nor spake not one word.
They went up and discovered him and found him dead as St. Julian had said to them. Then took they such dread and fear that after that they ne nor none other that heard of the miracle durst lie no more tofore the holy servant of God.
St. Julian the HospitalerAnother Julian there was that slew his father and mother by ignorance. And this man was noble and young, and gladly went for to hunt. And one time among all other he found an hart which returned toward him, and said to him, thou huntest me that shall slay thy father and mother.
Hereof was he much abashed discomfited, worried and afeard, and for dread, that it should not happen to him that the hart had said to him, he went privily privately, secretly away that no man knew thereof, and found a prince noble and great to whom he put him in service. And he proved so well in battle and in services in his palace, that he was so much in the prince’s grace that he made him knight and gave to him a rich widow of that is, "who had" a castle, and for her dower dowry he received the castle.
And when his father and mother knew that he was thus gone they put them in the way for to seek him in many places. And so long they went till they came to the castle where he dwelt, but then he was gone out, and they found his wife. And when she saw them she inquired diligently who they were, and when they had said and recounted what was happened of their son, she knew verily that they were the father and mother of her husband, and received them much charitably, and gave to them her own bed, and made another for herself.
And on the morn the wife of Julian went to the church, and her husband came home whiles she was at church, and entered into his chamber for to awake his wife. And he saw twain in his bed, and had weened thought that it had been a man that had lain with his wife, and slew them both with his sword, and after, went out and saw his wife coming from church.
Then he was much abashed and demanded of his wife who they were that lay in his bed, then she said that they were his father and his mother, which had long sought him, and she had laid them in his bed.
Then he swooned and was almost dead, and began to weep bitterly and cry, alas! caitiff wretch that I am, what shall I do that have slain my father and my mother? Now it is happened that that which I supposed to have eschewed, avoided and said to his wife: Adieu and farewell, my right dear love, I shall never rest till that I shall have knowledge if God will pardon and forgive me this that I have done, and that I shall have worthy penance therefor.
And she answered: Right dear love, God forbid that ye should go without me, like as I have had joy with you, so will I have pain and heaviness.
Then departed they and went till they came to a great river over which much folk passed, where they edified built an inn, guest house explanation much great for to harbour poor people, and there do their penance in bearing men over that would pass.
After long time St. Julian slept about midnight, sore travailed, and it was frozen and much cold, and he heard a voice lamenting and crying that said: Julian come and help us over.
And anon he arose, and went over and found one almost dead for cold, and anon he took him and bare him to the fire and did great labour to chauffe warm and warm him. And when he saw that he could not be chauffed ne warm, he bare him in to his bed, and covered him the best wise he might.
And anon after, he that was so sick and appeared as he had been measell, leprous he saw all shining ascending to heaven, and said to St. Julian his host: Julian, our Lord hath sent me to thee, and sendeth thee word that he hath accepted thy penance. And a while after St. Julian and his wife rendered unto God their souls and departed out of this world.
Julian the ApostateAnother Julian there was, but he was no saint but a cursed man, and was called Julianus Apostata. This Julian was first a monk, and showing outward signs of great religion and of great holiness, after that that Master John Beleth reciteth. There was a woman that had three pots full of gold, and because the gold should not be seen she had put in the mouth of the pots above, ashes, and delivered them to this Julian tofore other monks for to keep, whom she reputed a holy man, but she said not to him that they were full of gold.
When he had these pots he looked what was therein, and he found that it was gold and took it out all, and filled them full of ashes, and fled with all to Rome, and did so much that he was of the councillors and governors of Rome. But the woman, when she would have again her pots, she could not prove that she had delivered to him in keeping gold, for she made no mention thereof tofore the monks, and therefore he retained it, and procured withal the office of a consul of the governance of Rome. And after that he procured so much that he was instituted emperor.
Whiles he was young he was taught in the art of enchantment and of the invocations of fiends, and gladly he studied, and it pleased him much, and had with him divers masters of that science. Now it happed on a day that as his master was out he began alone to read the invocations, and a great multitude of fiends came about him and made him afeard, and he made the sign of the cross, and anon they vanished away. And when his master was returned he told him what was happed to him, but his master said to him that always he had hated and feared that sign.
When then he was emperor he remembered thereof, and because he would use the craft of the devil, overall where he found the signs of the cross he destroyed them, and persecuted Christian men because that he knew well that otherwise the fiends would not do for him.
Now it happed that he descended into a region that is called Persia, and from thence he sent into the occident a devil for to have answer of that he said to him, and this devil went and abode ten days in one place without moving, because there was a monk continually in prayer night and day, and when he might not do he returned.
Then Julian demanded asked him where he had been so long, he answered: I have been in a place where I found a monk night and day praying, and I supposed to have troubled him that he should no more pray, and all this while I could never turn him from his prayer, and thus I am returned without doing anything. Then Julian the apostate had great indignation and said when he came thither he would avenge him of the monk, and when he went in to Persia the devils promised him that he should have victory of a city.
The master of enchantments, which divined by the devil for him, said to a Christian man: What doeth the smith’s son? He said that he made a sepulchre for Julian his master. And as it is read in the history of St. Basil, he came in Cæsarea of Cappadocia and St. Basil came against toward him, and presented three loaves to him, which he sent to him.
And Julian had great indignation of this gift, and for the bread, he sent to St. Basil, saying: Thou hast sent to me meat food for dumb beasts, therefore take this that I send to thee.
St. Basil said: We have sent to thee such as we eat, and thou sendest to us of that thou nourishest thy beasts with.
Of which answer Julian was wroth and said: When I shall have done in Persia I shall destroy this city in such wise that it shall be better ordained for to ear plow and sow than people to dwell in.
And the night ensuing, St. Basil saw in a vision, in the church of our Lady, a great multitude of angels, and in the middle of them a woman being in a throne, which said to them: Call to me Mercury whom Julian the apostate hath slain, which blasphemeth me and my son. Mercury was a knight, that for the faith of God had been slain of Julian, and was buried in the same church.
Then anon Mercury with all his arms, that were kept, was present, and at the commandment of the lady he went to battle. St. Basil awoke all affrayed, and went to the tomb where the knight was buried in, and opened the sepulchre, but he found neither body ne arms. Then he demanded asked of the keeper who had taken away the body. And he sware that in the even tofore it was there.
St. Basil after on the morn returned, and found the body and the armour and the spear all bloody. And anon came one from the battle which said that Julian the apostate and emperor was in the battle, and thither came a knight unknown all armed with his spear, which hardily smote his horse with his spurs and came to Julian the emperor, and brandished his sword and smote him through the body, and suddenly he departed and never after was seen again.
And yet when he should die he took his hand full of blood and cast it into the air saying: Thou hast vanquished man of Galilee! thou hast overcome!
And in crying thus, miserably he expired, and died in great pain, and was left without sepulture burial of all his men. And he was flayed of the Persians, and of his skin was made to the king of Persia an undercovering, and thus he died cursedly.
Thus end the Lives of four holy saints every each named Julian, and of one that was a false apostata.
VORAGINE'S ETYMOLOGY FOR THE NAME JULIAN
This text was taken from the Internet Medieval Source Book. E-text © by Paul Halsall. Annotations, formatting, and added rubrics by Richard Stracke. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the sources. No permission is granted for commercial use.