Juliana of Liège

Juliana of Liège

Infobox Saint
name= Saint Juliana of Liège
birth_date= 1193
death_date=April 5, 1252
feast_day= April 6
venerated_in= Roman Catholic Church

imagesize= 250px
birth_place= Retinnes, Belgium
death_place= Fosses
canonized_by= Pius IX
Saint Juliana of Liège (also called St. Juliana of Mt. Cornillon) (1193 – 5 April 1252) was a nun and visionary from Retinnes in Fléron in the Bishopric of Liège, now in Belgium. She was a significant member of the Premonstratensian convent of Mount Cornillon. She was known for her holiness, and for promoting the introduction of the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Orphaned at age five, in 1206 she took the veil at age thirteen. She worked in the convent's hospital, nursing the sick. During this time, she reported visions of Christ, reminding her that there was no feast for the Holy Sacrament.

In 1225 she became prioress, and in 1230 she was elected Mother Superior of her Augustinian Monastery. Her principal contribution to the universal church was a specific devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, a matter in which she deeply influenced St. Thomas Aquinas; so much so as to motivate him to compose a special office to honour the Blessed Sacrament. It was Juliana who successfully urged Pope Urban IV (former Archdeacon of Liege) to formally declare the date of the feast of Corpus Christi for the whole church.

Juliana's convent was under the supervision of a general superior named Roger, a vicious man who had gained the position with bribes and intrigues in 1233. He immediately disliked both Juliana and her reproaches, and incited the people against her. She fled to the cell of Blessed Eva of Liège, and then to a house given to her by John, a canon of Lausanne. With the help of Robert of Thourotte, the Bishop of Liège, Juliana was vindicated in the courts and restored to her former position in the convent. Roger was deposed; however, in 1247, he once again regained power, and Juliana was once again driven out. She found refuge in Namur, and then at Fosses-la-Ville, where she lived in seclusion until she died. She was buried in Villers by her own request.


In 1264, Pope Urban IV published a papal bull, ordering that the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament be celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. She was canonized in 1869 by Pius IX and further celebrated by Pope John Paul II, who wrote a letter mentioning her on the 750th anniversary of the Feast of Corpus Christi. Her feast day is April 6.



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