Pictorial Lives of the Saints – Saints Julian and Basilissa, Martyrs

[Pictorial Lives of the Saints: Saints Julian and Basilissa, Martyrs]Saint Julian and Saint Basilissa, though married, lived, by mutual consent, in perpetual chastity; they sanctified themselves by the most perfect exercises of an ascetic life, and employed their revenues in relieving the poor and the sick. For this purpose they converted their house into a kind of hospital, in which they sometimes entertained a thousand poor people. Basilissa attended those of her sex. in separate lodgings from the men; these were taken care of by Julian, who from his charity is named the Hospitalarian. Egypt, where they lived, had then begun to abound with examples of persons who, either in the cities or in the deserts, devoted themselves to the most perfect exercises of charity, penance, and mortification. Basilissa, after having stood seven persecutions, died in peace; Julian survived her many years and received the crown of a glorious martyrdom, together with Celsus, a youth, Antony, a priest, Anastatius, and Marcianilla, the mother of Celsus. 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 Saint Julian, were originally dedicated under the name of Saint Julian, the Hospitalarian and martyr. In the time of Saint Gregory the Great, the skull of Saint Julian was brought out of the East into France, and given to Queen Brunehault; she gave it to the nunnery which she founded at Etampes; part of it is at present in the monastery of Morigny, near Etampes, and part in the church of the regular canonesses of Saint Basilissa, at Paris.

Reflection – God often rewards men for works that are pleasing in his sight, by giving them grace and opportunity to do other works higher still. Saint Augustine said, “I have never seen a compassionate and charitable man die a bad death.”