Sunday, January 27, 2019

St. Julian of Sora - January 27

Relics of St. Julian of Sora
Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Sora, Italy

January 27 is the feast of St. Julian of Sora, martyr.

St. Julian of Sora (San Giuliano di Sora), according to tradition, was a young Roman soldier born in Dalmatia in the 2nd century AD, belonging to the family of the gens Julia. He was a Christian and came to Italy to preach the Gospel during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius.

On his way to Campania he encountered a group of fellow soldiers near Anagni, whom he greeted, saying “Peace be with you, dear brothers”. The soldiers immediately suspected that Julian was a Christian, and they set about questioning him. Upon affirming his Christian faith, Julian was immediately arrested, put in chains and brought to Atina (or Sora, according to other sources).

The governor Flavianus (or, according to others, the proconsul Dacianus) sentenced Julian to a week in prison without any food or water, in the hopes that he would abandon Christianity. When Julian refused to betray his religion, he was subjected to torture on the rack.

While undergoing torture, the nearby pagan Temple of Serapis collapsed. Despite being in prison at the time, Julian was blamed for the collapse and accused of being a magician by a pagan mob. The governor then sentenced Julian to death. He was beheaded in Sora, Italy on January 27th in the year 161 AD.

Originally buried near the collapsed temple, Julian's relics were discovered in 1612 inside an ancient eponymous church near Sora. In 1614 the relics were transferred to the Church of Santo Spirito in Sora. In 1802 they were transferred to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Sora, where they remain today.