Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Saint Julia- Virgin and Martyr

Saint Julia was a noble virgin of Carthage, North Africa. She was a sweet and gentle girl. When the city was taken by Genseric in 489, she was sold for a slave to a pagan merchant of Syria named Eusebius.

Julia did the hardest of work cheerfully and patiently. She had a happiness and comfort which the world could not have afforded. Julia spent much time in prayer to Jesus whom she loved very much and read many books of piety.

Her master, who was charmed with her fidelity and other virtues, thought proper to carry her with him on one of his voyages to Gaul. Having reached the northern part of Corsica, he cast anchor, and went on shore to join the pagans of the place in an idolatrous festival.

Julia was left at some distance, because she would not be defiled by the superstitious ceremonies which she openly reviled. Felix, the governor of the island, who was a bigoted pagan, asked who this woman was who dared to insult the gods. Eusebius informed him that she was a Christian, and that all his authority over her was too weak to prevail with her to renounce her religion, but that he found her so diligent and faithful he could not part with her.

The governor offered him four of his best female slaves in exchange for her. But the merchant replied, "No, all you are worth will not purchase her, for I would freely lose the most valuable thing I have in the world rather than be deprived of her."

The governor, while Eusebius was drunk and asleep, seized her to sacrifice to his gods. He offered her freedom if she would worship his false gods. Julia answered him saying “Everyone is free if he loves Jesus Christ.”

Felix was insulted and enraged that Julia would not do as she was told. He struck her on the face, and had the hair on her head to be torn off, and lastly, ordered her to be hanged on a cross until she died. Julia died virgin and martyr.

Saint Julia, whether free or a slave, whether in prosperity or in adversity, was equally fervent and devout. She adored all the sweet designs of God and without complaining, never ceased to praise and thank God.

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