January 8

From the Prologue

Julian and Basilissa were of noble and wealthy parents. United in marriage, they vowed to live chastely as brother and sister. They distributed all of their property to the poor and both were tonsured. Julian founded a monastery and Basilissa founded a convent. Julian had about ten-thousand monks and Basilissa about a thousand nuns. When a terrible persecution began under Diocletian, Basilissa implored God that none of her nuns would become frightened of the tortures and would not fall away from the Orthodox Faith. The Lord heard the prayers of His worthy handmaiden and, in the course of six months, received unto Himself all the nuns, one by one and finally their abbess Basilissa. Before her death, Basilissa had a vision of her sisters [nuns] from the other world. To her, all of them appeared to her radiant and joyful as angels of God and beckoned their spiritual mother to come to them as soon as possible. Unlike Basilissa's convent, Julian's monastery was set ablaze by the persecutors and Julian was inhumanly tortured and died from the most difficult sufferings. During his tortures, the Lord watched over him and strengthened him so that he heroically endured, preserved his Faith and glorified the Name of Christ. Beheaded along with Julian were Celsus and Maronilla, the son and wife of the tormentor Marcian, who witnessing Julian's heroism in suffering and torture, were themselves converted to the Faith of Christ. Also beheaded were twenty Roman soldiers; seven brothers from that town; the presbyter Anthony; and a certain Anastasius, whom Julian at the time of his torture, resurrected from the dead by prayer. All suffered honorably for Christ and became citizens of the heavenly kingdom about the year 313 A.D.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas