A Garner of Saints – Saint Julian Hospitator

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Julian the Hospitaller; date and artist unknown; Saint-Julien, Puy-de-Dôme, France; photographed on 15 July 2007 by Romary; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

(French: Julian Hospitalier; Italian: Giuliano Ospitate): A young nobleman. One day while he was hunting a stag, the animal turned and said, “You who pursue me shall one day kill both your father and your mother.” On hearing this he abandoned everything and departing secretly from home, he entered the service of a prince with whom he speedily distinguished himself both in war and at the court. The prince made him a knight and gave him a widow lady to wife with a castle as dowry. Meanwhile Julian’s parents went about seeking him far and near, and at length they arrived at his castle at a time when he was away. The wife received them, and on discovering who they were she gave them her own bed. While the wife was absent at church Julian returned, and finding a man and a woman in his bed, concluded that they were his wife and a stranger, and in his fury he slew them both. On leaving the castle he met his wife retuming from the church, and filled with surprise he asked her who were the two who were sleeping in their bed. When she told him, he fell to weeping bitterly, recalling the words of the stag. Then, bidding his wife farewell he swore that he would allow himself no rest until he knew that the Lord had pardoned him. But she would not leave him, and accordingly they went together to the banks of a great river where many had perished, and in this desert they founded a hospital as a penance and for the purpose of carrying to the other side of the water those who wished to cross, receiving there all poor travellers. Long afterwards, as Julian was about to rest and when he was feeling very fatigued, he heard a voice calling him, it being the middle of a bitterly cold night, and asking to cross the river. Julian rose and found a man who was dying of the cold. He took him into the house, lighted a fire and employed every means to revive him, putting him in his own bed. Soon afterwards the man, who had appeared sick and leprous, became transformed into a splendid apparition, and as he ascended into Heaven he said, “Julian, the Lord has sent me to you to make known to you that he has accepted your penance, and you and your wife shall shortly repose in Our Lord.” Instantly he disappeared, and shortly afterwards it happened to them as the angel had predicted. 29th January.

Attributes

  • Stag beside him, carries boat in hand; or sits in boat crossing a river; usually dressed as a hermit.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Julian Hospitator”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 April 2017. Web. 22 September 2017. <>