Feast Day : June 16
Julitta was a noblewoman of Iconium, Lycaonia (Turkey), who converted to Christianity. At the time, under the reigns of the Roman emperors Diocletian and Maximian, severe persecutions were conducted. Julitta took her three-year-old son and several servants and fled to Seleucia, Tarsus, attempting to find safety. However, she was recognized and arrested and was taken with her son before the proconsul, Alexander. Ordered to renounce her faith and sacrifice to the pagan gods, Julitta refused. Infuriated, Alexander took Quiricus away from her and ordered her scourged. Julitta did not relent. Quiricus, meanwhile, struggled in the grip of Alexander. Tradition holds that he declared, “I also am a Christian.” Alexander either beat him to death or dashed his head against the stone steps of the throne, killing him. Julitta thanked God for having taken her son before her. Alexander ordered her sides to be torn with iron hooks, and boiling pitch to be poured on her feet. She was then beheaded. The remains of her and her son were thrown out of the city. Julitta’s servants, who were in hiding, secretly recovered the remains and buried them in a field. They were rediscovered during the reign of Emperor Constantine. St. Amator, bishop of Auxerre from 388 to 418, is said to have carried the remains to France, where they were dispersed to Nevers, Toulouse, St. Amand in Flanders, and other locations. Churches and monasteries were dedicated to Julitta and Quiricus. Some scholars believe that all or part of the story is fictitious.