Juliana of Nicomedia

Saint Juliana of Nicomedia is said to have suffered Christian martyrdom during the Diocletian persecution in 304. She was popular in the Middle Ages, especially in the Netherlands, as the patron saint of sickness.

Saint Juliana, the daughter of a famous pagan named Africanus, was born in Nicomedia.  Her father was hostile to the Christians. Juliana had secretly chosen to be baptized. As a child was betrothed to Senator Eleusius, a prominent officer from Antioch.  He was one of the emperor’s advisors. When the time of her wedding approached, Juliana refused to be married. This surprised her parents because until then she had never opposed them.  She had been an obedient daughter. Her father urged her not to break her engagement, but when she refused to obey him, he handed her over to the Governor.  Eleusius’ ego was injured and he wanted revenge. He asked about and found out that Juliana had converted to Christianity, without her parents knowing. While she was in prison, her former fiancé, Elusius asked Juliana to marry him, but she again refused. Juliana preferred to die rather than have a pagan as a husband.
Eleusius was filled with hate, flogging her ruthlessly. After that, he burned her face with a hot iron and said to her, “Go now to the mirror to see your beauty”. Juliana answered him with a light smile: “At the resurrection of the righteous, there won’t exist burnings and wounds but only the soul. I prefer to have now the wounds of the body which are temporary, rather than the wounds of the soul which torture eternal.”  Juliana was beheaded. She was partially burned in flames, plunged into a boiling pot of oil, and finally beheaded. Saint Barbara suffered the death of a martyr along with Juliana.

A noble lady named Sephonia came through Nicomedia and took the saint’s body with her to Italy, and had it buried in Campania. This is why Juliana, honored in Nicomedia The veneration of Saint Juliana of Nicomedia became very widespread, especially in the Netherlands. She became known as the patron saint of sickness.