St. Julian the Hospitaller, or “the Poor Man,” came from a wealthy, noble family in the early 4th century and is a popular saint in Western Europe. According to a legend, Julian had just recently been married and was a jealous husband. One day when Julian was hunting, he had a vision that he would murder his mother and father.
While he was hunting, his mother and father made an unexpected visit to his castle. His wife gave them one of the best rooms. When Julian returned from his hunt and saw the two figures in bed, he assumed it was his wife with a lover. In a jealous rage, Julian killed his mother and father.
Julian was so horrified upon learning the truth that he swore to devote the remainder of his life to good works. He and his wife then undertook a pilgrimage to a distant country where he established a hospital.
The hospital was near a river that was frequently crossed by people prompted to travel by the Holy Crusades. People frequently drowned crossing this river so Julian took responsibility of ferrying travelers across and tending to the sick.
One night, thieves came into their hospital and killed Julian and his wife in the same way Julian had killed his mother and father.
“There were great miracles without end in that place and land,” recounts the legend. “So many that, as it pleased God, their bodies were brought to Brioude (France).”
St. Julian is considered the patron of ferrymen, innkeepers and circus performers.
Special Thanks to the Catholic News Agency for supplying the information on this saint.