Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Julia (fifth century)

Saint Julia (fifth century)

Feast day: May 23

Saint Julia was born to a noble family in northern Africa. When she was a young girl, her city was taken over by barbarians. Julia was captured by the conquerors and sold as a slave to a pagan merchant. She did not lament her situation or feel sorry for herself. Instead, she performed her work cheerfully and loved God. When she was done with her tasks, Julia read holy books and prayed.

Her master decided to take her with him on a trip to France. On their way, he stopped to attend a pagan festival. Julia refused to go near the pagan celebrations, and the governor of the region was enraged by her defiance. He exclaimed, “Who is this woman who dares to insult our gods?” Julia’s owner responded that she was a Christian and that even though she would not give up her faith, she was still a dedicated servant.

The governor wanted to buy Julia, but her master refused to sell her, saying she was too valuable to him. However, the governor’s greed for something that he could not have was overwhelming. He kidnapped Julia in the middle of the night and tried to force her to make a sacrifice to the pagan gods, promising her freedom in return. She refused, saying she was already free as long as she served Jesus. The irate governor tortured her and hung her on a cross for refusing to deny her faith. 

(Image by Wellcome Images, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)