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St. Juliana, Martyr, of Syria, along with her brother, Paul

Commemorated on August 17

The Holy Martyr Juliana, along with her brother, Paul, were executed under Emperor Aurelian in the third century in the Phoenician city of Ptolemais. The emperor was on a visit to Ptolemais, and among those who met him was Paul, who made the Sign of the Cross. They immediately arrested him and threw him in prison.

On the following day, when they brought him to trial, he openly and boldly confessed his faith in Christ, for which he was subjected to fierce tortures. Seeing the suffering of her brother, Juliana began to denounce the emperor for his cruelty, for which she was also subjected to torture.

They beat the martyrs, tore their bodies with iron hooks, and burned them over red-hot grates, but they were not able to break the wondrous endurance of the Lord's confessors. Three soldiers torturing the saints were struck by the courageous spirit of the martyrs, and they in turn believed in Christ. These newly chosen of God were named Quadratus, Acacius and Stratonicus, and they were immediately executed.

The emperor tried to seduce St. Juliana with a promise to marry her, if she were to renounce Christ, but the saint refused. By order of the emperor, they sent her to a brothel to be defiled. The Lord preserved her, and anyone who tried to touch Juliana lost his sight.

The enraged emperor then commanded that the bodies of the saints again be subjected to the fire. Those who saw their suffering began to murmur loudly, and Emperor Aurelian gave orders to behead the martyrs.

With gladdened faces, Paul and Juliana went to their execution singing, "For Thou hast saved us from those who afflicted us and hast shamed those who hated us" (Ps. 43/44:7).

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (