Saint Julitta of Tarsus, also known as Saint Julitta and Saint Cyricus, is a Christian martyr venerated in the Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church and the Coptic Church. Her story is that of a courageous mother and her son who suffered persecution because of their Christian faith. Here is a very detailed article on the life and martyrdom of Saint Julitte of Tarsus:
Relic of Saint Julitte on Relics.es
1. Historical Context: Saint Juliet of Tarsus lived in the 3rd century AD, in the city of Tarsus, in Cilicia, a region which is now part of Turkey. At this time, the Roman Empire was marked by periods of persecution of Christians, and the Christian faith was banned.
2. The Life of Saint Julitte: Julitte was a pious Christian woman living in Tarsus. She was known for her deep faith and commitment to Christianity. She had a son named Cyricus (or Quiricus), whom she raised as a Christian. The name "Julitte" is derived from the Latin "Julia" and means "daughter of Jules". She was a loving and devoted mother.
3. Persecution: When Roman authorities discovered that Julitte and her son were Christians, they were arrested because of their faith. Julitte was interrogated by the local governor, who sought to make her deny her faith. However, Julitte proudly affirmed her Christian faith and refused to deny Jesus Christ.
4. The Martyrdom of Saint Julitte: The Roman authorities attempted to make Julitte deny her faith through torture, but she remained steadfast in her belief. Ultimately, she was sentenced to beheading because of her refusal to sacrifice to the pagan gods. According to tradition, during the execution, Julitte voluntarily bowed her head to make the executioner's task easier.
5. The Miracle of Cyricus: After the execution of his mother, the young Cyricus, aged three, remained near her body for six days. He was cared for by a pious Christian woman named Quirene, who took care of him. Cyricus survived this ordeal and became a living witness to his mother's faith. Once Cyricus became an adult, he was ordained a priest and later bishop of Tarsus. He is also revered as a Christian saint and martyr.
6. Veneration of Saint Julitta: Saint Julitte and Saint Cyricus are venerated as Christian martyrs in the Orthodox, Catholic, and Coptic Christian traditions. Their story is an example of unwavering faith in difficult circumstances and dedication to the Christian faith. The feast of Saint Julitte and Saint Cyricus is celebrated on June 16 in the Catholic liturgical calendar.
The life and martyrdom of Saint Juliet of Tarsus is a testimony to the importance of Christian faith and perseverance in the face of persecution. She is revered for her sacrifice and dedication to her faith, and her story continues to inspire Christians around the world.