July 30, 2015

Holy Martyr Julitta of Caesarea

St. Julitta of Caesarea (Feast Day - Gr. July 30, Slav. July 31)


The fire of the furnace became as mist,
Towards the beauteous brilliance of Julitta.

The Martyr Julitta was from Caesarea of Cappadocia. There was a certain greedy and covetous man with whom Julitta had a suit pending in court. He, as her neighbor, had wrongfully seized the greater portion of Julitta's property, illegally appropriating her fields, lands, animals, slaves, and all her abundance. He did this through blackmail, bribes to the judges, false statements, and witnesses who perjured themselves.

As Julitta began exposing his tyrannical dealings with her, he, in turn, disclosed to the magistrate of Caesarea that she was a Christian, refusing to worship the gods. Because of this, he contended, Julitta was not protected under the law nor had the privileges of citizenship.

Now Julitta was not attached to her worldly riches, but rather held her wealth in contempt compared to the wealth of her faith in Christ. She said to the magistrate, "Let this life and the glory of this world depart and pass out of existence, because, for such things, I will not renounce my Creator God and Fashioner." For this reason, she was ordered to be cast into a lit furnace.

Entering the fiery chamber, the flames embraced the holy body of Julitta, and her soul flew off to the heavenly mansions. However, her body miraculously remained unburnt and untouched by the fire, so her relatives and faithful Christians might have her healing relics as a consolation.

Around seventy years later in the year 375, a fellow Cappadocian of Caesarea, Saint Basil the Great, honored the holy martyr Julitta with an encomium. Commenting upon her honorable relics, he said they enriched with blessings both the place and those who come to them. He also confirmed that the earth which received the body of this blessed woman sent forth a spring of most pleasant water, whereas all the neighboring waters are brackish. Indeed, he tells us, this water preserves health and relieves the sick.