Saint Julian of Le Mans
Feast day: January 27
Died 3rd or 4th century
3rd or 4th century. Saint Julian is honored as the first bishop of Le Mans, France. Some sources say that he was a Roman nobleman and an apostle of the region. His relics were translated to the cathedral of Le Mans in 1254, where his head is still shown. Most of his relics rest in the Benedictine convent of Saint-Julian-du- Pré, where they are credited with many miracles. Most of the relics were burnt or scattered by the Huguenots who plundered the shrine in 1562.
Various English churches, dating to the 7th century, and places, dating to the time of the Normans and Plantagenets, have this Julian as their titular patron. Of particular note is the church of Saint Julian in Norwich, which many mistakenly believe to have been dedicated to the Lady Julian of Norwich, known as Blessed Juliana, but whose given name is unknown. In a traditionally French fashion, there have been attempts to identify Julian with Simon the Leper or as one of the 72 disciples of Christ
He was consecrated a bishop at Rome and around the middle of the third century, Julian was sent to Gaul to preach the Gospel to the tribe of the Cenomani. Their capital city was Civitas Cenomanorum (Le Mans), which was suffering from a shortage of drinking water. According to the legends surrounding his life, Julian thrust his staff into the ground and prayed. Water began to gush out of the ground. This miracle allowed him to preach freely within Le Mans. The city's principal citizen was converted to Christianity along with his family, donating to the Church part of his palace to serve as Le Mans' first cathedral church.
Julian converted many other citizens and Le Mans' new bishop cared for the poor, the infirm, and the orphans. His miracles included the resurrection of a dead man.
Upon reaching old age, he retired to live as a hermit at Sarthe.