St Julian the Deacon of Novara

Saints Julius the presbyter and Julian the Deacon, brothers by birth, were natives of Myrmidonia. For his virtuous life St Julius was ordained to the priesthood, and his brother as a deacon. Inspired with zeal for the spreading of the Christian Faith, the holy brothers received permission for the building of churches and set off preaching to remote sections East and West within the Roman Empire, where pagan temples still existed and where offering of sacrifice to idols was still made. Visiting several lands, they converted many pagans to Christianity, persuading them not only by word, but also by numerous miracles. At Constantinople they turned to the pious emperor Theodosius the Younger (408-450) requesting permission to build churches upon the sites of pagan temples.

Having received the blessing of the patriarch and the permission of the emperor, the holy brothers built many churches. The people considered it their duty to assist them in this matter. Once, some people went past a church under construction. Fearing that they would be talked into taking part in this work, they engaged in a deception, in order to get away. One of them feigned being dead, and when St Julius invited them to take part in the work, they excused themselves, saying that they had to bury a dead person. The saint asked, “You’re not lying, are you?” The passers-by persisted in their ruse. Then St Julian said to them, “Let it be according to your words.” Having continued on farther, they discovered that the one pretending to be dead really was dead. After this, no one else dared to lie to the holy brothers.

Foreseeing his own impending end, St Julius set off in search of a place to build his one hundredth church, which he believed would be his last. Reaching Lake Mukoros, he saw a beautiful island. Because of the huge quantity of snakes on it, no one was able to settle there. St Julius decided to build a church upon this island. Having prayed, he sailed off to the island on his mantle as though on a boat, and set up a cross on it. In the Name of God, the holy ascetic ordered all the snakes to gather together and leave the island. All the venomous vipers slithered into the lake and re-established themselves upon Mount Kamunkin.

On the island St Julius built a church in honor of the holy Twelve Apostles. At this time his brother, St Julian, finished construction on a church near the city of Gaudiana and decided to build a crypt for his brother Julius by the church. St Julius paid his brother a visit and advised him to hurry with the construction of the crypt, prophetically foretelling that he would lie in it. Indeed, St Julian the Deacon soon died and was buried in the crypt built by him. St Julius the Presbyter reverently buried his brother and returned to the island, where he soon died and was buried in the church of the Twelve Apostles he had built. From his grave many of the sick received healing. The blessed end of the holy brothers occurred after the first half of the fifth century.