Feast of the day

Sts. JULIAN and BASILISSA Martyrs († c. 313)

1/9/2021 12:00:00 AM

(† c. 313)

        Sts. Julian and Basilissa, though married, lived by mutual consent in perpetual chastity. They sanctified time by the perfect exercises of an ascetic life, and employed their revenue in relieving the poor and the sick. They converted their house into a hospital, which at one time housed nearly a thousand people.

        In the hospital, Basilissa attended the women and Julian attended the men, housed in separate quarters. From their charity, the Couple were dubbed Hospitalarians. Egypt, where they lived, had then begun abounding with examples of persons who, either in cities or deserts, devoted themselves to exercises of charity, penance, and mortification.

        St. Basilissa, after enduring seven persecutions, died in peace. St. Julian survived her many years, and also received the crown of martyrdom; together with Celsus, a youth, his mother, Marcianilla, Antony, a priest, and Anastasius.

        Many churches and hospitals in the East, and especially in the West, bear the name of one or other of these martyrs. Four churches at Rome, and three out of five at Paris, which bear the name of St. Julian, were originally dedicated under the name of St. Julian, the Hospitalarian and martyr.

        In the time of St. Gregory the Great, the skull of St. Julian was brought out of the East into France, and given to Queen Brunehault. She gave it to the nunnery which she founded at Étampes; part of it is at present in the monastery of Morigny, near Étampes, and part in the church of the regular canonesses of St. Basilissa at Paris.