Julian's Feast Day
Today, May 13th, is listed as Julian's Feast Day in the Catholic Church's calendar, while May 8th is celebrated as Julian's Feast in the Anglican, Episcopalian, and Lutheran churches. The two dates stem from Julian's own mention of the day when she received her sixteen Revelations of Divine Love. The confusion arose because two medieval copyists wrote down different versions of that date: "the viii day of May" or "the xiii day of May," 1373. The first date appears in the Sloane manuscript which was more popular in the early twentieth century; so May 8th became the preferred feast day. The second date is listed in the Paris manuscript and may be due to a misreading or mis-recording by the copyist of the Roman numerals.
Whether we honor Julian on May 8th (which happens to be my son's birthday!) or the 13th, she is very much with us and available to us every single day of the year. She cares as much, if not more, for us as she did for the men and women and children of her own time, for whom she prayed constantly. Imagine if one could go to the window of her anchorage and ask her a question, consult her about a problem or seek her advice as so many did for over twenty-five years. When one read sand meditates on her account of her Revelations, it seems like one is actually "at her window" and able to receive an answer. The Lord speaks so clearly through her. Here are a few blessed Julian "sayings" to meditate on today:
I saw that he is to us all things that are good and comfortable to help us. He is our clothing, that for love wraps us and winds us, embraces us and totally encloses us, hanging about us for tender love, that he may never leave us. And so in this sight I saw that he is all things that are good, as to my understanding.
For the goodness of God is the highest prayer, and it comes down to us, to the lowest part of our need. It quickens [revives] our soul and brings it into life, and makes it grow in grace and virtue. It is nearest in nature and readiest in grace. For it is the same grace that the soul seeks and ever shall, til we know our God truly, who has us all in himself beclosed.
For our soul is so preciously loved by him that is highest, that it overpasses [transcends] the knowing of all creatures: that is to say, there is no creature that is made that may know how much and how sweetly and how tenderly our maker loves us. And therefore we may, with his grace and his help, stand in ghostly beholding, with everlasting marveling in this high, overpassing, unmeasurable love that our lord has for us because of his goodness. And therefore we may ask of our lover, with reverence, all that we will.
For God is all that is good, as to my sight, and God has made all that is made, and God loves all that he has made. And he who generally loves all his evencristens for God, he loves all that is. For in mankind that shall be saved is comprehended all: that is to say, all that is made and the maker of all. For in man is God, and in God is all. And he who loves thus, he loves all.
These are only a few gems quoted (in my own translation from the Middle English) from Julian's First Revelation. We may go to Julian's Gospel and receive her special word for us on a daily basis. She always speaks right to the point of our joy or sorrow, giving us exactly what we need in the present moment. What a gift she is to our life and times!
On this holy day, may we give Julian thanks for her indomitable faith, her astounding hope, and her abounding love, all of which never cease to comfort and encourage us in the love and joy of Jesus Christ. And may Julian bless you abundantly today and every day. Happy Feast Day, Julian!
All text copyrighted © 2013-2018 by Veronica Mary Rolf. All rights reserved. No copying or reprints allowed without the express permission of the Author.