Saint Juliana of Cumae (also known as Juliana of Nicomedia, died 305), virgin and martyr of the Church. Saint Juliana became widely venerated in Medieval times, with epic poems written about her battle and eventual victory over the Devil. Her Acts, recorded by the Venerable Saint Bede, and detailed in the Golden Legend, are thought to be Holy Legend, although like most Holy Legend, remain inspirational today.
Juliana was born in Cumae, Italy, the daughter of a pagan official named Africanus. Betrothed at a young age to a nobleman named Evilase, Juliana refused to marry until he first became the prefect of Nicomedia. While he was working to meet this demand—which he eventually did—Juliana converted to Christianity, and made a vow of chastity. She then insisted that Evilase convert as well prior to marriage. Of course, as a Roman prefect, this was not something he was able to do and maintain his position and status.
“Then suddenly came into the prison the Enemy of mankind, skilled in evil; and he had the form of an angel. Wise was he in afflictions, this enemy of the soul, this captain of Hell, and unto the holy maid he said, “Why sufferest thou who art most dear and precious unto the King of glory, our God ? This judge hath prepared for thee the worst tortures, torment without end, if thou wilt not prudently sacrifice and make propitiation unto his gods. Be thou in haste when he bids thee be led outward hence, that thou make a sacrifice, an offering of victory, before that death come upon thee, death in the presence of the warriors. In this wise shalt thou survive the anger of this judge, O blessed maid!””
“Then unto her spake a glorious voice from the clouds and uttered this word: “Do thou seize this vile one and hold him fast, till that he rightly declare unto thee his purpose, even from the beginning what his kinship may be.” And the heart of the glorious maid was glad; and she seized upon that devil.”
“I entreat thee, gracious Juliana, by the grace of God, that thou work upon me no further insult or reproach before men than thou hast already done, when thou overcamest the wisest in the prison shades, the king of the dwellers in Hell, in the city of fiends, who is our father, the lord of death. Behold thou hast afflicted me with painful blows, and in truth I know that, before or since, never did I meet in the kingdoms of the world a woman like unto thee, of more courageous heart, or more perverse, of all the race of women. Clear is it to me that thou wouldst be in all things unashamed in thy wise heart.”
While Saint Juliana was martyred in Nicomedia, her relics were translated to Cumae, the place of her birth, where they were first enshrined. In the thirteenth century, her relics were again translated, this time to Naples, Italy, where they are venerated today.
You gave St. Juliana the crown of
eternal joy because she gave her life
rather than renounce the virginity she
had promised in witness to Christ.
Encouraged by her generosity, help us to
rise out of the bondage of our earthly
desires and attain to the glory of your
kingdom. Grant this through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit.
One God, for ever and ever.
The Golden Legend: The Life of Saint Juliana
Here followeth the Life of Saint Juliana, and first the interpretation of her name.
Juliana is as much to say as burning plainly, for she burnt herself against the temptation of the devil which would have deceived her, and she helped many others to believe in the faith of our Lord Jesu Christ.
On the morn the provost commanded that Saint Juliana should be brought tofore him in judgment; and when he saw her so well guerished, and her visage so fair and so shining, then said the provost to her: Juliana, who hath taught thee, and how mayest thou vanquish the torments? And she said: Hearken to me and I shall say to thee: My Lord Jesu Christ hath taught me to adore the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for I have overcome and vanquished Satan thy father, and all his other devils; for God hath sent his angel for to comfort and to help me. Mechant man, knowest thou not that the torments be made ready for thee everlasting, where thou shalt be tormented perpetually in a perpetual darkness and obscurity. Anon the provost made to be brought a wheel of iron between two pillars, and four horses to draw it forth, and four knights at one side, and four knights on that other to draw, and four for to draw forth the wheel, so that all the body was tobroken in such wise that the marrow came out of the bones, and the wheel was all bloody. Then came an angel of God and brake the wheel, and healed the wounds of Saint Juliana perfectly. And for this miracle were converted all they that were present. And anon after, for the faith of Jesu Christ were beheaded men and women to the number of one hundred and thirty persons. After, commanded the provost that she should be put in a great pot full of boiling lead, and when she entered into the said pot, all the lead became cold, so that she felt no harm. And the provost cursed his gods because they might not punish a maid that so vanquished them. And then he commanded to smite off her head. And when she was led to be beheaded, the devil appeared to the provost in figure of a young man, and said: Spare not good people, and of her have no mercy, for she hath blamed your gods and done much harm, and me she hath beaten this night past, therefore render to her that she hath deserved. With these words Saint Juliana looked behind her for to wit who said such words of her. Anon the devil said: Alas! alas ! caitiff that I am, I doubt me that yet she will take and bind me, and so he vanished away. After this, that she had admonished the people to love and serve Jesu Christ she prayed them all to pray for her, and then her head was smitten off. The provost entered into a ship with thirty-four men for to pass an arm of the sea; anon came a great orage and a tempest, which drowned the provost and all his company in the sea, and the sea threw their bodies to the rivage, and wild beasts came thither and ate them. Let us pray to her that she pray for us.
Year 2: Day 47 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Courageous and steadfast avoidance of sin and temptation.
Requested Intentions: Financial freedom (J); Successful passing of occupational examination (S); Healing and conversion, sale of house (L); Occupational success for employee and colleagues (J); Employment for a son (C); Successful attainment of an important appointed position (J); Recovery from cancer for a friend (Z); For a family’s freedom from sin (M); For a daughter with Diabetes (A); Reconciliation of a marriage (D); Assistance with a legal matter, financial freedom (R); Healing for a friend (M); For a son in medical school (H); Financial assistance (M); Successful employment (N): Freedom from mental illness for a friend (L); For successful marriage (N); For friends having and recovering from surgery; for the reduction of a brain tumor (L); For resolution of a housing crisis (P); For a brother who is struggling financially, for a son who is struggling academically (B); For financial security for a friend (C); Success in business; familial happiness and health (J); Health and recovery of a sister (I); Healing of a father following stroke (S).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."