Julian of Le Mans

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Julian of Le Mans

The Historia of St. Julian of Le Mans by Létald of Micy Some Comments and Questions about a North French Office of the Early Eleventh Century


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(4th century (?),

bishop. Almost nothing is known of his life: breviary lessons claim him as a Roman nobleman who became first bishop of Le Mans and apostle of the neighbourhood. Plenty of churches are dedicated to him there (and a few in England) of which the oldest dates from the 7th century. Julian was formerly venerated in the church of Saint-Julien-du-Pré, now Notre-Dame-du-Pré (Le Mans); his relics were translated to the cathedral in 1254. His feast was kept in the Sarum rite and in at least nine Black Benedictine English monasteries. The cult was probably encouraged by Henry II, who was born at Le Mans and baptized in the church of St Julian. Attempts to identify him with Simon the Leper or with one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ are characteristic of French attempts to assert apostolic origins of their sees. Julian does, however, appear first in the episcopal lists of Le Mans, where there are stained glass windows of the 12th–13th century and a tapestry of the 16th which illustrate episodes of his Legend. Feast: 27 January.

AA.SS. Ian. II (1643), 761–7; A. Ledru, Les premiers temps de l'Église du Mans (1913), 55–238; B.L.S., i. 193.

Subjects: Christianity.

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