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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

February 17

SS. Theodulus and Julian, Martyrs

THEY suffered at Cæsarea in Palestine, at the same time with those mentioned yesterday, but are named on this day in the Roman Martyrology. Theodulus was an old man of eminent virtue and wisdom, who enjoyed one of the most honourable posts in the household of Firmilian, the governor of Palestine, and had several sons. His personal merit gained him the love of all that knew him, and the governor had a particular esteem for him. This holy man had seen the invincible courage and patience of the five Egyptian martyrs at Cæsarea, and, going to the prisons, made use of their example to encourage the other confessors, and prepare them for the like battles. Firmilian, vexed at this conduct of an old favourite servant, sent for him, reproached him strongly with ingratitude, and, without hearing his defence, condemned him to be crucified. Theodulus received the sentence with joy, and went with transports to a death which was speedily to unite him to his Saviour, and in which he was thought worthy to bear a near resemblance to him. Julian, who shared the glory of that day with the other martyrs, was a Cappadocian, as was also St. Seleucus; he was only a catechumen, though highly esteemed by the faithful for his many great virtues, and he had just then come to Cæsarea. At his arrival, hearing of the conflicts of the martyrs, he ran to the place, and finding the execution over, expressed his veneration for them, by kissing and embracing the bodies which had been animated by those heroic and happy souls. The guards apprehended him, and carried him to the governor, who, finding him as inflexible as the rest, would not lose his time in useless interrogatories; but immediately ordered him to be burnt. Julian, now master of all he wished for, gave God thanks for the honour done him by this sentence, and begged he would be pleased to accept of his life as a voluntary sacrifice. The courage and cheerfulness which he maintained to his last moment, filled his executioners with surprise and confusion. See Eusebius, an eye-witness, l. de Mart. Palæst. c. 12. p. 337.  1