St. Juliana de Cornillon

St. Juliana de Cornillon

Little is known of this beautiful Saint, but the Church is deeply indebted to her, Not only for her immense holiness but also because of her desire to spread devotion of the Most Holy Sacrament.  

Juliana de Cornillion, also known as Juliana of Liège, was born in 1192 in the diocese of Liège. This is an important reference because at this time, this diocese was referred to as a “Eucharistic Upper Room.” This community thrived on their dedication to the Eucharist, living a life of Eucharistic adoration and frequent reception of the Eucharist. 

At the young age of five, Juliana and her sister Agnes were orphaned and entrusted to the care of the Augustinian nuns of Cornillon. It was here that their spiritual development soared, leading to Juliana’s taking of the religious habit, thus becoming an Augustinian Nun. 

As a Nun, Juliana became very learned in Church history and teaching. Devoting her time to reading the words of the Church Fathers, specifically Sts Augustine and Bernard, in Latin no less! She had a deep sense of Christ’s presence, which flowed from the way she experienced living in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Meditating frequently upon Christ’s words,  “And lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20)

At the age of sixteen, Juliana received her first vision, which would reoccur several times during Eucharistic Adoration. Her vision is described as follows: 

“Her vision presented the moon in its full splendor, crossed diametrically by a dark stripe. The Lord made her understand the meaning of what had appeared to her. The moon symbolized the life of the Church on earth, the opaque line, on the other hand, represented the absence of a liturgical feast for whose institution Juliana was asked to plead effectively, namely, a feast in which believers would be able to adore the Eucharist so as to increase in faith, to advance in the practice of the virtues and to make reparation for offenses, to the Most Holy Sacrament.”

Juliana kept these revelations in the depths of her heart with joy for the next twenty years where in the meantime she became the prioress of the convent. Eventually she shared these joys of her heart with trusted companions and a highly regarded priest who then formed a sort of spiritual alliance for the purpose of glorifying Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament. 

Immersed in patience and prayer, Juliana finally spoke of these things to the bishop of Liège, who after overcoming his initial hesitations accepted the proposal of Juliana and her companions and implemented the first Solemnity of Corpus Christi. 

As many Saints do, Juliana faced many trials as she faced harsh opposition from clergy and superiors that her Monastery depended on. This eventually led to Juliana’s departure, of her own will, from the Convent of Mont-Cornillon. She lived on the charity of surrounding Monasteries, recognizing her own humility while still zealously spreading Eucharistic devotion. 

Juliana died in the year 1258, in a cell where she lay prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament, contemplating the love of Jesus in the Eucharist. Upon her death, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi was instituted to be observed by the Universal Church.

Juliana was canonized in the year 1869 by Bl. Pope Pius IX, and is celebrated on her feast day of April 6th as the Patroness of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. 

Prayer to Saint Juliana

Lord God, You gave St. Juliana the crown of eternal joy because she gave her life rather than renounce the virginity she had promised in witness to Christ. Encouraged by her generosity, help us to rise out of the bondage of our earthly desires and attain to the glory of your kingdom. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit.

One God, for ever and ever.




Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published