St. Juliana and her brother, Paul
Commemorated on March 4
St. Juliana and her brother Paul were executed under Emperor Aurelian in the Phoenician city of Ptolemais. The emperor was visiting Ptolemais, and among those who met him was Paul, who made the Sign of the Cross. Paul was immediately arrested and thrown into prison.
On the following day, as Paul was brought to trial, he openly and boldly confessed his faith in Christ, for which he was tortured. St. Juliana, seeing the suffering of her brother, began to denounce the emperor for his cruelty, and she was also tortured.
The martyrs were beaten, had their bodies torn with iron hooks, and were burned over red-hot grates, but they refused to denounce Christ. Three soldiers, Quadratus, Acacius and Stratonicus, who had been ordered to torture Sts. Juliana and Paul, were struck by their courage, and they came to believe in Christ. These three brave men were immediately executed.
Emperor Aurelian tried to seduce St. Juliana by promising to marry her if she were to renounce Christ, but she refused. The emperor sent her to a brothel to be defiled, but the Lord preserved her, and anyone who tried to touch the saint lost his sight.
The enraged emperor commanded that the bodies of the saints be burned. Those who saw their suffering began to murmur loudly, and Emperor Aurelian gave orders to behead the martyrs. With happy faces, Sts. Juliana and Paul went to their execution singing, “For Thou hast saved us from those who afflicted us and hast shamed those who hated us” (Psalm 43/44:7).
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)