READING OF THE DAY: 9 JANUARY, 2013

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“Then he made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.

And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray.

When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore.

Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them.

About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea.

He meant to pass by them.

But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out.

They had all seen him and were terrified.

But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”

He got into the boat with them and the wind died down.

They were (completely) astounded.

They had not understood the incident of the loaves.

On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” -Mark 6:45-52.

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SAINT OF THE DAY: 9 JANUARY, 2013

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Saint Julian and Saint Basilissa
Martyrs
(† 313)

Saint Julian and Saint Basilissa, though married, lived by mutual consent in perpetual chastity. They sanctified themselves by the most perfect exercises of an ascetic life, and employed their revenues in relieving the poor and the sick. For this purpose they converted their house into a kind of hospital, in which they sheltered up to a thousand poor people. Basilissa attended those of her sex in separate lodgings, and Julian, who for his charity is known as the Hospitaler, cared for the men.

Egypt, where they lived, was in those days blessed with persons who, either in the cities or in the deserts, devoted themselves to the most perfect exercises of charity, penance, and mortification. Conversions were numerous, and persecutions by furious pagans followed as the numbers of Christians increased. Basilissa, after having survived seven of those, died in peace, foretelling to her husband that he would die a martyr. Julian lived afterwards for a number of years, but eventually received the crown of a glorious martyrdom in 313. His interrogation and his tortures were accompanied by astonishing prodigies and numerous conversions.

With him died thirty-one other persons, including a priest named Anthony, a new Christian named Anastasius, Celsus, the seven-year-old son of the judge who sentenced Julian, Marcianilla, the mother of Celsus, who when she came to visit her son was won over to the faith, and many other Christians. Spared by fire and wild beasts, Saint Julian finally was decapitated. His tomb became illustrious by many great miracles, including the cure of ten lepers on the same day.

Many churches and hospitals, in both the East and in the West, bear the name of one or another of these martyrs. Four churches at Rome and three in Paris are dedicated to Saint Julian.