Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The Great Cloud of Witnesses

Saint Julian of Le Mans
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.

Saint Julian of Le Mans

January 27

Saint Julian of Le Mans is a saint venerated in both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church, honored as the first bishop of Le Mans. Stained glass depicting Julian of Le Mans and 16 episodes of his life (12th century, restored in 1897) - West facade of Le Mans Cathedral - Le Mans (Sarthe, France). It is believed that he may have been a Roman nobleman, but he was also identified with Simon the Leper or as one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ. He was consecrated a bishop at Rome and around the middle of the 3rd century, Julian was sent to Gaul to preach the Gospel to the tribe of the Cenomani. Their capital city was Civitas Cenomanorum (Le Mans), which was suffering from a shortage of drinking water. According to the legends surrounding his life, Julian thrust his staff into the ground and prayed. Water began to gush out of the ground. This miracle allowed him to preach freely within Le Mans. The city's principal citizen was converted to Christianity along with his family, donating to the Church part of his palace to serve as Le Mans' first cathedral church. Julian converted many other citizens and Le Mans' new bishop cared for the poor, the infirm, and the orphans. His miracles included the resurrection of a dead man. Upon reaching old age, he retired to live as a hermit at Sarthe.  His feast day is January 27. The translation of his relics is celebrated on July 25.

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