Miracles of Saint Julian – Saint Gregory of Tours

At that time my father’s brother Gallus was bishop of Auverxne, and I do not think I should fail to tell how he was aided in his youth by a miracle of the saint. Now I have often described the ruin king Theodoric brought upon Auvergne, when none of their property was left to either old or young except the bare land which the barbarians were unable to carry off. [note: Cf. p. 58. (Bk 3:11-13) This punishment of Auvergne took place in 532, 6 years before Gregory’s birth.] In those days, then, my uncle of glorious memory who afterwards, as I have told, governed the church of Auvergne in the high office of bishop, was a ward; and his property was so plundered by the soldiers that there was nothing at all left that was available; and he himself used often to go on foot with only one attendant to the village of Brioude. [note: The site of Saint Julian’s church. Brioude is situated about 40 miles up the valley of the Allier from Clermont.] It happened once when he was trudging along on this journey, that he took his shoes off on account of the heat, and as he walked in his bare feet he stepped on a sharp thorn. This by chance had been cut, but was still lying on the ground and was concealed point upward in the green grass. It entered his foot and went clear through and then broke off and could not be drawn out. The blood ran in streams and as he could not walk he begged the blessed martyr’s aid and after the pain had grown a little less he went on his way limping. But the third night the wound began to gather and there was great pain. Then he turned to the source from which he had already obtained help and threw himself down before the glorious tomb; when the watch was finished he returned to bed and was overcome by sleep while awaiting the miraculous help of the martyr. On arising later he felt no pain and examining his foot he could not see the thorn which had entered it; and he perceived it had been drawn from his foot. He looked carefully for it and found it in his bed and saw with wonder how it had come out. When bishop he used to exhibit the place, where a great hollow was still to be seen, and to testify that this had been a miracle of the blessed martyr.

A long time after, when the festival of the blessed martyr came, my father with all his household made haste to attend the joyful celebration. As we were on the way, my older brother Peter was seized by a fever and became so ill that he could not move about or take food. We journeyed on in great grief and it was doubtful whether he would recover or die. In this state of distress we at length arrived; we entered the church and worshipped at the holy martyr’s tomb. The sick boy cast himself down on the pavement, praying for a cure by the glorious martyr Finishing his prayer he returned to his lodging and the fever went down a little. When night came we hastened to keep watch and he asked to be carried along, and lying before the tomb he begged the martyr’s favor all night long. When the watch was over he asked them to gather dust from the blessed tomb and give it to him in a drink, and hang it about his neck. This was done, and the heat of the fever went down so that on the very same day he took food without suffering and walked about wherever his fancy took him.