Alternative Saint Of The Day

Julian the Hospitaller (also known as Julian the Poor)


On the night Julian was born, his father, a man of noble blood, saw pagan witches secretly lay a curse on the boy that would make him kill both his parents. His father wanted to get rid of the child, but his mother did not let him do so. As the boy grew into a handsome young man, his mother would often burst into tears because of the sin her son was destined to commit. When he finally found out the reason for her tears, he swore he "would never commit such a sin" and "with great belief in Christ went off full of courage" as far away from his parents as he could.

Some claimed that it was a stag he met in the forest while hunting who told him of the curse.

After fifty days of walking, he finally reached Galicia, where he married a "good woman", said to be a wealthy widow.

Twenty years later, his parents decided to go look for their son. When they arrived, they visited the altar of Saint James and as soon as they came out of the church they met a woman sitting on a chair outside. They asked her if she would host them for the night as they were tired. She let them in and told them that her husband, Julian, was out hunting. The mother and father were overjoyed to have found their son, as was Julian's wife. She took care of them well and had them rest in her and Julian's bed.

But the devil  went off seeking Julian and told him: "I have sour news for you. While you are here, hunting, your wife is in bed embracing another man. There they are right now, still sleeping."

Julian felt deep sadness and his face drew into a frown. He rode back home, went to his bed and found a man and a woman sleeping in it. He drew his sword and killed them both. He was about to take off and never again set foot in that land, but as he was leaving he saw his wife sitting among the other women.

She told him: "There are your mother and father resting in your room."

And so Julian knew and fell into a rage. "The shrewd enemy lied to me when he said my wife was betraying me," and while kissing their wounds he cried "Better had I never been born, for I am cursed in soul and body."

His wife comforted him and said, "Have faith in Christ Almighty, a stream of life and mercy."

They had no children but they were rich. After seeking redemption in Rome, Julian built a hospice beside a river, cared for the poor and sick and rowed travellers across the river for free

But the devil conspired again to ruin Julian. Disguised as a weak pilgrim, he was let by Julian into his home. At midnight the devil woke up and made a mess of Julian's house.

The following morning Julian saw the damage and swore never to let in anyone else in his home.

Jesus went to him, again as a pilgrim, seeking rest. He asked humbly, in the name of God, for shelter.

But Julian answered with contempt, "I shall not let you in. Go away, for the other night I had my home so vandalised that I shall never let you in."

And Christ told him, "Hold my walking-stick, please."

Julian, embarrassed, went to take the stick, and it stuck to his hands.

And Julian recognised him at once and said "He tricked me, the enemy who does not want me to be your faithful servant. But I shall embrace you, I do not care about him, and for your love I shall give shelter to whoever needs."

He knelt and Jesus forgave him.

He is a patron saint of  boatmen, carnival workers, childless people, circus workers, clowns, ferrymen, fiddle players, hotel-keepers, innkeepers, jugglers, knights, penitent murderers, pilgrims, shepherds, travellers and wandering musicians. You can also pray to him to obtain lodgings whilst travelling.


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