Died: June 19th, 1341
FEast: June 19th
Patron of: illnesses, chronic illnesses, and the sick
Juliana was born in Italy in 1270 into a wealthy, noble family. Because of this, her parents wanted her to be married, but Juliana refused. She instead wanted to follow the example of her uncle and enter religious life. He uncle had been Alexis Falconieri, and was one of the seven original men that had founded the Servite Order.
When she was 15 or 16, she became a Servite nun, but stayed at home to take care of her mother until she passed away in 1304. It was then that she gathered a group of women and they moved into their own communal house with Juliana serving as Mother Superior. They wore black gowns with short sleeves, which was uncommon at the time, but necessary for the hard work that they did.
Juliana spent long hours in prayer and would often experience sensations and visions while praying. She spent most of her time with the other sisters, however, taking care of the impoverished and sick in hospitals. One story says that Juliana even suck poisons and infections out of the patients' wounds herself.
She demonstrated true servant-leadership to her fellow women for 35 years until 1341 when she fell very ill. It is reported that she was on her death bed vomiting and therefore unable to receive the Eucharist. She asked the priest to instead place it on her chest. In just a moment, it disappeared and left the mark of a cross in that spot. Juliana fell peaceful and passed away.
She had written an Order for her Servite Sisters and 120 years later, it was approved by the Pope, making her the founder of the Order.
Though you served the ill, the suffering, and the dying in even the smallest of ways, you were able to lessen their anguish. May we serve those with sickness and disease as you have, unafraid of the ugliness, uncomfortability, and ways pain transforms. Pray for our health as well.
This icon is another one that was inspired by a roommate. This amazing woman had persevered through so much in her life and continues to do so - personifying Juliana's tough spirit and determination. She asked that a saint who is patron of sickness be chosen as well, since she prays most for that intercession for herself and her family.