September 12, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Julian of Galatia and the Forty Martyrs With Him

St. Julian of Galatia (Feast Day - September 12)


You commingled the sweat of your asceticism with your contests,
Receiving a twofold crown Julian.

Saint Julian lived during the reign of Diocletian (284-305), and was born and raised in the city of the Galatians. When Antoninus became governor of the eparchy of Galatia, he heard that Saint Julian was in hiding with forty others in a cave, and that he followed the religion of the Christians. Therefore he immediately sent men to go and have him arrested and bring him to the judgment hall. Those who were sent found him alone, and they tried to force him to tell them where the others were to be found. The Saint was not persuaded, but instead cried out with a loud voice to his fellow ascetics: "Behold I have been captured, and go to be martyred for Christ, without betraying you to the soldiers who were forcefully trying to make me tell them. Therefore you hasten also to come and catch up with me."

When he stood before the judgment seat, Antoninus said to the Martyr: "Consider what is to your advantage, and come and sacrifice to the gods." Then the athlete of Christ replied: "You have become for me, O governor, an excellent counselor, even against your will. For I, in taking care of my own advantage, can find nothing more than to die on behalf of piety, with which I was nourished from infancy." When the governor heard this, he did not want to ask him any further questions. Instead he ordered an iron bed to be heated up, to the point that it would be engulfed in flames, and for the athlete of Christ to be laid on it on his back. The Martyr made the sign of the honorable Cross over his body, and climbed onto the bed. And - O the wonder! - an Angel of the Lord cooled down the fiery bed, and kept the Martyr unharmed.

When Antoninus saw this miracle, he was exceedingly astonished, and began to ask the Saint the following questions: "Who are you, so that you were easily victorious over the fire?" The Saint replied: "I am a minister of the Lord; Julian is my name." "And who are your parents?" The Saint said: "My father has departed to the Lord, and my mother is an old woman." Immediately the tyrant ordered for the mother of the Saint to be brought before the judgement seat. Antoninus looked at her with wild eyes, and persuasively said to her: "O woman, this your wicked son, let him cense the gods with the censer. If not, licentious soldiers will take you, and they will lewdly assault your body." That brave woman, without being condemned, said: "Will you take my soul, even if you dishonor my body against my will? Of course not. Nonetheless, I take courage in my God, that He will not overlook me, nor will He allow for this to ever happen to me." With these words Antoninus became pale, and he dismissed her, while her son and athlete Julian, was ordered to be killed with the sword.

Therefore the struggler for piety was taken up to the customary mountain together with the executioners, and he requested from them some time to pray: "I thank you Lord, that until death you guarded me from disgrace, in the confession of faith. I therefore ask you, grant those Christians, who take dirt from my grave, forgiveness of sins, and prevent them from suffering. And let there not come to these fields any destroying birds or locusts or any damaging creature." Lastly he said: "Receive my spirit in peace Lord." Immediately then a voice came from heaven, saying: "The doors have been opened to you, by God the judge of the contests. Therefore, having rightfully contested, enter." This voice was heard by the forty Christians also who had been hidden, and having come to the foot of the mountain, they found the Martyr of Christ dead. Hence they also confessed Christ before the executioners, and they were arrested and tied up together. And at the order of Antoninus, they were imprisoned in order to be examined next.