December 20

St. Julius

Saint Julius

Life and Dedication

Pope Saint Julius I, son of Rusticus, was born in Rome, the Western partof the Roman Empire. His date of birth is unknown.

On the 6th of February, 337, Saint Julius was made Pope. He succeededPope Mark, following the emptiness of the office for about 4 months.

Saint Julius is highly revered for the stance he took against the Arianheresy.

After Saint Athanasius was exiled for speaking up against Arianism,Eusebius and his followers refused to let him return to his See.

Eusebius and his allies rallied for delegates to speak up againstAthanasius. He sent these delegates to Emperor Constans of the West andalso to Pope Saint Julius.

After listening to the parties, Saint Julius made it clear to thedelegates that he firmly supported Athanasius. He however invitedAthanasius and Eusebius of Nicomedia to come for a hearing which hewould preside over.

Knowing that they were not going to be favored, the Arian priestsdeclined the hearing.

After Athanasius was exiled for the second time, he was welcome to Romeby Saint Julius. There, Athanasius was once again recognized as a Bishopin the synod hosted by Saint Julius in 342.

The matter continued to be debated until a council was set up inSardica, Illyria. The council summoned about 76 Eastern bishops. Theytraveled to Philippopolis where Saint Julian was forcefully removed fromoffice.

This led the Western bishops to set policies that allowed a deposedbishop to appeal his case. They also set several canons to make Churchrules fairer.

Pope Saint Julius went on erect several churches and monasteries whilein authority.


Some parts of tradition claim that Saint Julius I was in charge ofassigning the 25th of December as Christ’s official day of birth.

This claim is however debated. Some historians assert that this hadnothing to do with Pope Saint Julius. Others claim that the Saintannounced it in 350 A.D.

Even more, historians think that the 25th of December is two days afterthe festival of a Roman Saturnalia. This is said to be of certainsignificance.

Some traditions assert that Saint Julius had chosen this date toestablish a Christian substitute of Saturnalia.

Some claim that Julius chose this date because it was the birthday ofSol Invictus, the Sun God of the Roman empire. This was thought to havebeen used to motivate pagans into practicing Christianity.

There are many versions that try to associate Saint Julius with creatingChristmas day. None however can be proven.

Death and Canonization

  1. He was canonized Pre-Congregation.

5 Interesting Facts About Saint Julius

  1. Did you know that in a letter to the Eusebian priests, Saint Julius
    made it known that he had reinstated Athanasius as Bishop of
  2. Did you know that one of the decrees made by the Western bishops
    forbade the transfer of bishops from one See to the other?
  3. Did you know that Saint Julian was succeeded by Liberius?
  4. Did you know that Saint Julian is thought to be buried in the
    basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere, Rome?
  5. Do you know that Athanasius’ writing “Apologies against the Arians”
    contains Saint Julius’ letters?

Prayer to Saint Julius

God, Light and Shepherd of souls, you established St. Julius as Popeover Your Church to feed Your flock by his word and form it by hisexample. Help us through his intercession to keep the Faith he thoughtby his word and follow the way he showed by his example. Amen.