During the seizure of Carthage, a young Christian girl by the name of Julia was taken captive and sold to a pagan merchant who took her home with him to Palestine. Although she was surrounded there by idol-worshippers, the young girl held firmly to the standards by which she had been raised, and preserved steadfast her faith in Christ. She earnestly fulfilled all that was demanded of her and faithfully served her master in keeping with the Apostle's words: Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh.... With good will doing service as to the Lord, and not to men. (.Eph. 6:6-7)
Although Julia was meek and obedient, there was no way she could be persuaded to do anything that was against Christ's commandments, Time and again the merchant prevailed upon her to forsake the Christian faith and to live in the manner of the pagans. But Julia would sooner die than consent to such a thing. The merchant grew angry and even wanted to kill her, but seeing what a faithful servant she was, he at last left her in peace, He was amazed by her meekness, her patience, her hardworking nature. And when she came of age he entrusted her with important business matters. After working all daylong, it was a joy For Julia to be able to occupy herself with prayer and spiritual reading.
Julia was still in her 20' s when her master had her accompany him on a journey which he undertook for business. On the way their boat made a stop at the Mediterranean island of Corsica. There were at this time many idol-worshippers still living on the island. Near the shore the merchant saw that a group of people were making sacrifices to the pagan gods, and he wished retake part. He left the boat followed by all those who were traveling with him--all but Julia. She stayed behind, grieving over the lost souls of the pagans.
During the merchant's absence, some of the island's inhabitants went aboard the boat. There they saw Julia and found out that she was a Christian, They passed on this news at once to their leader who asked the merchant: "Why is it that not all of your servants have come to honor the gods?"
"They are all here," answered the merchant.
"Then how is it I hear that on the boat you have a girl who does not want to bow down to the gods?"
"My servant Julia?" asked the merchant. "'There's no way you can turn her away from the delusion of the Christian religion. I myself have made no small effort to this end; I tried kindness, I tried threats, and I would have had her killed long ago were it not that she is so faithful to me, so hardworking."
"She must bow down to our gods," said the pagan elder. "If you wish, I shall buy her from you and force her myself to honor our gods."
"I'm telling you, she'd rather die than abandon her faith, and there's no way I can sell her. All of your possessions would not begin to compensate for her services."
Angered by the merchant's refusal, the pagan elder determined at all costs to get the Christian maid and force her to bring sacrifice to the gods. He made the merchant drunk, and while he was asleep he sent for Julia.
"Make a sacrifice to the gods," he ordered, "and I'll buy your freedom from your master."
"My freedom lies in working for Christ and serving Him with a pure conscience," answered the girl. "I cannot join you in your falsehood ."
The elder ordered the girl to be beaten on the face. She quietly endured this, saying: "For my sake Christ endured slaps and spitting. I am ready to suffer for Him."
Julia was subjected to all kinds of torture: they tore her hair, cruelly beat her all over, but she remained undefeated.
"I confess Him Who for my sake was beaten, was crowned with thorns, and crucified on the Cross. I am His slave and I am ready to share in His sufferings," said the young virgin courageously.
After prolonged and cruel tortures, Julia was crucified on a cross.
Upon awakening, when the merchant discovered what had happened, he was very sorrowful; but nothing could be done; the last breath of life had just left the maid. When her holy soul departed to the Lord, several by-standers saw a snow-white dove fly out of her mouth; others saw angels surrounding the virgin martyr. Terrified, they ran off leaving the body hanging on the cross. But that same night, all of this was revealed in a dream to some monks living on a neighboring island; they were charged to recover the body and to give it proper burial, which they did. Later, a church was built on the site of the holy martyr's sufferings, and from that time forth Christians have honored the memory of St. Julia whom the Lord Himself glorified with miracles.
(Translated from Lives of Saints, compiled by A,N. Bakhmetova, Moscow, 1872)
Although Julia lived so long ago, in the Soviet Union children of pious families are often separated from their parents and forced into circumstances not so very different from those faced by this holy young martyr. Her steadfast confession in the midst of a pagan society is a timely example for all young people today.[OA/_private/oabot.htm]