mercredi 16 mars 2016

Saint JULIEN d’ANTIOCHE, martyr

Saint Julien d'Antioche

Martyr en Cilicie (4ème s.)

Il appartenait à une famille sénatoriale et vivait en Cilicie. Il avait dix-sept ans quand il refusa de sacrifier aux faux dieux et, pour avoir confessé la Vérité du Christ, il fut enfermé dans un sac plein de vipères et de scorpions et jeté à la mer. Saint Jean Chrysostome prononça son panégyrique.

Fils d'un sénateur païen et d'une mère chrétienne, il fut élevé chrétiennement. Pendant la persécution de Dioclétien, il fut arrêté et refusa de renier Jésus-Christ. Durant son transfert à Anazarbe en Cilicie, il fut frappé tout au long du chemin puis enfermé dans un sac rempli de sable, de vipères et de scorpions, puis jeté à la mer devant le temple d'Asclepios. Saint Jean Chrysostome prononça en son honneur une admirable homélie.

À Anazarbe en Cilicie, au IVe siècle, saint Julien, martyr. Sous le préfet Marcien, il fut longtemps torturé; à la fin on l’enferma dans un sac avec des serpents et on le jeta à la mer.

Martyrologe romain

Julian of Antioch M (RM)
(also known as Julian of Anazarbus)

Born in Anazarbus, Cilicia; date unknown though some say c. 302. Saint Julian was a Christian of senatorial rank, who suffered under Diocletian. According to unreliable reports, Julian was subjected to brutal punishments, paraded daily for a whole year through various cities of Cilicia, then sewn up in a sack half-filled with scorpions and vipers, and cast into the sea to drown at an unknown location.
Antioch claimed to have recovered and enshrined his relics in the basilica, and Saint John Chrysostom preached a homily there in his honor. Chrysostom eloquently tells how much these sacred relics were honored, affirms that no devil could stand their presence, and that men were cured of physical and spiritual ills by them. The people of his time celebrated Saint Julian's feast with special devotion at Antioch (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

Saint Julian is portrayed as being cast into the sea in a sack full of serpents and scorpions. He may also be shown (1) as his coffin floats with four angels seated on it or (2) led bound on a dromedary (Roeder). 

March 16

St. Julian of Cilicia, Martyr

From the panegyric of St. Chrysostom, t. 2. p. 671. Ed. Ben. Tillem. t. 5. p. 573

THIS saint was a Cilician, of a senatorian family in Anazarbus, and a minister of the gospel. In the persecution of Dioclesian he fell into the hands of a judge, who, by his brutal behaviour, resembled more a wild beast than a man. The president, seeing his constancy proof against the sharpest torments, hoped to overcome him by the long continuance of his martyrdom. He caused him to be brought before his tribunal every day; sometimes he caressed him; at other times threatened him with a thousand tortures. For a whole year together he caused him to be dragged as a malefactor through all the towns of Cilicia, imagining that this shame and confusion might vanquish him: but it served only to increase the martyr’s glory, and gave him an opportunity of encouraging in the faith all the Christians of Cilicia by his example and exhortations. He suffered every kind of torture. The bloody executioners had torn his flesh, furrowed his sides, laid his bones bare, and exposed his very bowels to view. Scourges, fire, and the sword, were employed various ways to torment him with the utmost cruelty. The judge saw that to torment him longer was labouring to shake a rock, and was forced at length to own himself conquered by condemning him to death: in which, however, he studied to surpass his former cruelty. He was then at Ægea, a town on the sea-coast; and he caused the martyr to be sewed up in a sack with scorpions, serpents, and vipers, and so thrown into the sea. This was the Roman punishment for parricides, the worst of malefactors, yet seldom executed on them. Eusebius mentions, that St. Ulpian of Tyre suffered a like martyrdom, being thrown into the sea in a leather sack, together with a dog and an aspick. The sea gave back the body of our holy martyr, which the faithful conveyed to Alexandria of Cilicia, and afterwards to Antioch, where Saint Chrysostom pronounced his panegyric before his shrine. He eloquently sets forth how much these sacred relics were honoured; and affirms, that no devil could stand their presence, and that men by them found a remedy for their bodily distempers, and the cure of the evils of the soul.

The martyrs lost with joy their worldly honours, dignity, estates, friends, liberty, and lives, rather than forfeit for one moment their fidelity to God. They courageously bade defiance to pleasures and torments, to prosperity and adversity, to life and death, saying, with the apostle: “Who shall separate us from the love of Jesus Christ?” Crowns, sceptres, worldly riches, and pleasures, you have no charms which shall ever tempt me to depart in the least tittle from the allegiance which I owe to God. Alarming fears of the most dreadful evils, prisons, racks, fire, and death, in every shape of cruelty, you shall never shake my constancy. Nothing shall ever separate me from the love of Christ. This must be the sincere disposition of every Christian. Lying protestations of fidelity to God cost us nothing: but he sounds the heart. Is our constancy such as to bear evidence to our sincerity, that rather than to fail in the least duty to God we are ready to resist to blood? and that we are always upon our guard to keep our ears shut to the voices of those syrens who never cease to lay snares to our senses?

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume III: March. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

Saint Julian of Anazarbus

Also known as
  • Julian of Antioch
  • Julian of Tarsus
  • Julian of Cilicia
  • Giuliano….

Prominent citizen of senatorial rank. Arrested for his faith during the persecutions of Diocletian, he was tortured then put on display for abuse for a year in cities all over Cilicia, being led around behind a camel. Martyr. Praised by Saint John Chrysostom in a homily during the enshrinement of his relics.

  • Anazarbus, Cilicia (in modern Turkey)
  • sewn into a sack full of vipers and scorpions, and thrown into the sea to drown c.302
  • relics enshrined in Antioch
  • man being thrown into the sea in a sack
  • man in a coffin which is floating into shore and on which sits four angels
  • man bound on a camel being led through the streets

Martyr Julian of Tarsus, in Cilicia

The Holy Martyr Julian of Tarsus was born in the Asia Minor province of Cilicia. He was the son of a pagan senator, but his mother was a Christian. After the death of her husband the mother of St Julian moved to Tarsus, where her son was baptized and raised in Christian piety. When Julian reached age 18, a persecution against Christians began under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Among those arrested was St Julian. They brought him before the governor Marcian for trial, and for a long time they urged him to renounce Christ. Neither tortures nor threats, nor promises of gifts and honors could convince the pious youth to offer pagan sacrifice and deny Christ. The holy confessor remained steadfast in his firm faith.

For a whole year they led the martyr through the cities of Cilicia, everywhere subjecting him to interrogation and tortures, after which they threw him in prison. St Julian’s mother followed after her son and prayed that the Lord would strengthen him. In the city of Aegea, she besought the governor to permit her to visit the prison, ostensibly to persuade her son to offer sacrifice to idols. She spent three days in prison with St Julian, exhorting him to be strong until the end.

St Julian was again brought to stand before the governor. Thinking that the mother had persuaded her son to submit to the imperial decree, the governor began to praise her prudence. But suddenly she boldly confessed Jesus Christ, and even more fearlessly and boldly denounced polytheism. The governor then gave orders to cut off her feet, since she had accompanied her son from Tarsus. They tied the Martyr Julian into a sack, filled with sand and poisonous snakes, and threw it into the sea. The body of the sufferer was carried by the waves to the shores of Alexandria, and with reverence was buried by a certain pious Christian. The martyr’s death occurred in about the year 305. Afterwards his relics were transferred to Antioch. St John Chrysostom honored the holy Martyr Julian with an encomium.


San Giuliano di Anazarbo Martire venerato a Rimini

Istria, III secolo - Flaviade in Cilicia, 22 giugno 249

Sin dal secolo IX è testimoniato a Rimini il culto di San Giuliano, giovane istriano del III secolo. Secondo la tradizione, risalente al X-XI secolo, fu martirizzato in Flaviade (Cilicia) dal proconsole Marciano. Nel 962 circa il sarcofago contenente le reliquie del Santo giunse sul litorale di Rimini, nella località successivamente denominata "Sacramora" e da qui venne traslato nell'antica abbazia benedettina dei Ss. Pietro e Paolo (oggi Parrocchia di San Giuliano Martire). Fu eletto Patrono del Comune e della Città di Rimini nel 1225. Il suo corpo, insieme al sarcofago del III secolo, è conservato nella suddetta chiesa parrocchiale.

Martirologio Romano: Ad Ainvarza in Cilicia, nell’odierna Turchia, san Giuliano, martire, che, dopo essere stato a lungo torturato sotto il governatore Marciano, venne chiuso in un sacco pieno di serpenti e precipitato in mare.

Ci sono alcune fonti che parlano di questo martire, patrono della città di Rimini e sono tutte del secolo XIV. A parte questo, a Rimini vi è la chiesa, non di grandi proporzioni, a lui dedicata, che fu edificata probabilmente su un tempio pagano e di cui le prime notizie risalgono all’816, poi ricostruita nelle forme attuali nel XVI secolo e gestita fino al 1797 dai monaci benedettini della Congregazione Cassinese. 

E in questa chiesa vi sono concentrate le opere d’arte principali, che raffigurano s. Giuliano martire, e che rappresentano le varie fasi del martirio e gli avvenimenti collegati al sarcofago con il suo corpo; in particolare di notevole importanza è il dossale, opera di Bittino da Faenza del 1409, con i pannelli che raccontano la sua storia. 

Giuliano era un giovane di diciotto anni nato in Istria, ed essendo cristiano venne arrestato durante la persecuzione di Decio (200-251), che nel 249 ordinò appunto la settima persecuzione contro i cristiani in tutto l’impero. 

Nei pannelli sopra menzionati compare la figura della madre Asclepiodora, che gli è d’incoraggiamento, sia durante l’interrogatorio di Marziano, proconsole della città di Flaviade in Cilicia (provincia romana dal I secolo a.C.), sia nell’esecuzione del martirio nella stessa città. 

Il giovane Giuliano dopo essere stato condannato dal Tribunale, venne messo dentro un sacco chiuso contenente sabbia e serpenti e gettato in mare, dove morì annegato si suppone un 22 giugno forse del 249. 

Il suo corpo poi fu restituito dal mare sulla costa dell’isola di Proconneso (odierna Marmara), e qui deposto in un sarcofago; ma poi al tempo di Ottone I (912-973), imperatore del Sacro Romano Impero, sceso in Italia nel 961 e del vescovo Giovanni VI (962-968), il sarcofago precipitò in mare e galleggiando nel Mare Adriatico, guidato da angeli, approdò a Rimini, in località Sacra Mora. 

Qui si cercò di trasportarlo in cattedrale ma gli sforzi risultarono vani, per cui furono indette preghiere dal vescovo Giovanni, con tutto il popolo riminese e così si riuscì a trasportarlo nel vicino monastero dei Ss. Pietro e Paolo, sotto la custodia dell’abate Lupicino. 

In seguito un altro abate di nome Giovanni, procedette alla ricognizione del sarcofago trovando le reliquie del giovane martire Giuliano, ancora intatte, insieme ad un documento che ne raccontava la storia e sembra che nel sarcofago vi fossero anche le reliquie di altri sette martiri non identificati; evidentemente messi tutti insieme durante il lungo periodo della permanenza nell’isola di Proconneso. 

Negli ‘Acta SS’ ed. Venezia, 1734-1770, sono citati alcuni miracoli ottenuti per l’intercessione del martire e nel racconto dell’ultimo, risulta che il 22 giugno era già festa di precetto per tutta la diocesi di Rimini. 

Volendo eliminare tutta la parte leggendaria del racconto, gli studiosi sono concordi nell’affermare che san Giuliano fu nativo dell’Istria, con il martirio avvenuto il 22 giugno; le sue reliquie furono preda di guerre o di razzie da parte dei marinai riminesi; anche il materiale con cui è costruita l’arca proviene dall’Istria, pure il suo nome potrebbe confermare la sua origine, perché nell’Istria vi erano o vi sono ancora quattro città di nome ‘Iulia’, (nel Medioevo l’aggettivo “iuliensis” era già divenuto “iulianus”). 

Già dal secolo XII il culto per il santo martire istriano, fiorì enormemente in Rimini; le sue reliquie sono conservate nell’attuale chiesa di S. Giuliano a Mare, che fu già chiesa dell’antico monastero dei Ss. Pietro e Paolo, presso il Ponte di Augusto; nel 1152 la chiesa ebbe una donazione (documentata) dal conte Rainerio; nel 1164 il monastero era chiamato dei Ss. Pietro e Giuliano e infine dal 1204 solo S. Giuliano. 

Il giovane martire è molto venerato dalla città di Rimini; la Zecca locale coniò monete contrassegnate con la dicitura “Sanctus Iulianus”, la sua festa del 22 giugno è occasione di una sagra popolare e segnava un tempo l’inizio o la scadenza dei contratti.

Antonio Borrelli