Quriaqos and Julietta
|Saint Quriaqos and Saint Julietta|
Tarsus, Asia Minor
|Venerated in||Assyrian Church of the East, Eastern Catholic Churches, Roman Catholic Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches and Eastern Orthodox Church|
|Major shrine||Relics at Nevers, and in the monastery of Saint-Amand, Tournai.|
|Feast||June 16, July 15 (Eastern Orthodox Church)|
|Attributes||From the story involving Charlemagne, Quriaqos is depicted as a naked child riding on a wild boar.|
|Patronage||Prayed to for family happiness, and the restoring to health of sick children.|
Some evidence exists for an otherwise unknown child-martyr named Quriaqos at Antioch. It is believed that the legends about Saints Quiricus and Julietta refer to him. There are places named after Quriaqos in Europe and the Middle East, but without the name Julietta attached. Cyricus is the Saint-Cyr found in many French toponyms. The cult of these saints was strong in France after Saint Amator, Bishop of Auxerre, brought relics back from Antioch in the 4th century. It is said that Constantine I discovered their relics originally and built near Constantinople a monastery, and not far off from Jerusalem was built a church. In the 6th century the Acts of Quriaqos and Julitta were rejected in a list of apocryphal documents by the Decretum Gelasianum, called as such since the list was erroneously attributed to Pope Saint Gelasius I.
According to legend, Julietta and her three-year (sometimes described as three-month) old Quriaqos had fled to Tarsus and were identified as Christians. Julietta was tortured, and her three-year-old son, being held by the governor of Tarsus, scratched the governor's face and was killed by being thrown down by some stairs. Julietta did not weep but celebrated the fact that her son had earned the crown of martyrdom. In anger, the governor then decreed that Julietta’s sides should be ripped apart with hooks, and then she was beheaded. Her body, along with that of Quriaqos, was flung outside the city, on the heap of bodies belonging to criminals, but the two maids rescued the corpses of the mother and child and buried them in a nearby field.
An alternative version of the story is that Julietta told the governor that his religion could not be accepted by a three-year-old child, whereupon Quiricus testified to his faith, and mother and child were tortured before being decapitated.
Quriaqos and Charlemagne
A story from Nevers states that one night Charlemagne dreamed he was saved from being killed by a wild boar during a hunt. He was saved by the appearance of a child, who had promised to save the emperor from death if he would give him clothes to cover his nakedness.
In Italy, where they are known as Quirico (or Quilico, or Chirico) and Giulitta (or Giuletta or Giulietta ), the place most commonly linked with the saints is the village of San Quirico d’Orcia in the Val d’Orcia of the Province of Siena, region of Tuscany. There a twelfth- or thirteenth-century church (pictured right), based on an eighth-century baptistery, is dedicated to them. The cult, however, is common in many parts of country and more than 200 churches, monasteries, localities, etc. with signs of devotion to one or both of the saints have been identified. Other communes named after them are Corvino San Quirico (Province of Pavia), San Chirico Nuovo (Province of Potenza), San Chirico Raparo (Province of Potenza), Serra San Quirico (Province of Ancona), and Santa Giuletta (Province of Pavia). Communes of whom they are patron saints include Borgo San Martino (Province of Alessandria), Cavaria in the municipality of Cavaria con Premezzo (Province of Varese), Cisternino (Province of Brindisi), Collesalvetti (Province of Livorno), and Trofarello (Province of Torino).
There are a few churches in England dedicated to Saint Quiricus and Saint Julietta, including one found at Tickenham and another at Swaffham Prior, in Cambridgeshire. In Cornwall, they can be found in the villages of Luxulyan and St Veep, and there was also once a chapel at Calstock dedicated to these two saints. In Wales there is a least one church dedicated to the saints, in Llanilid, but named as St. Ilid and St. Curig.
Cyriacus in particular is mentioned numerous times in the daily office of the Church of the East as attested in the large collection of prayers and services known as the Hudra. The mention of a saint from Tarsus in such East Syrian traditions suggests that there was considerable early sharing of martyrological traditions despite doctrinal differences between churches.
Some relics of Mar Quriaqos are preserved at St. Kuriakose Indian Orthodox Syrian Chapel, Ayyampilly, India. Even today, the name Kuriakose is very popular among the Saint Thomas Christians in India.
- Santi Quirico e Giullita : I lori nomi (Italian)
- For a description and history of the church see Collegiata dei Santi Quirico e Giulitta (English)
- See the list at Santi Quirico e Giullita: Il culto in Italia.
- Wade-Evans, Arthur. Welsh Medieval Laws, p. 343. Oxford Univ., 1909. Accessed 31 Jan. 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Quiricus and Julietta.|
- "St. Julitta, Martyr", Butler's Lives of the Saints
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Saint Julitta
- Church of St Quiricus and St Julietta, Tickenham, England
- Cyriac Family History Project - Saints Cyr & Julitta page
- Orthodox Church of America
- St. Cyricus page at the Christian Iconography web site
- "Saint Quiricus and His Mother Saint Julitta" from the Golden Legend
- Syriac Martyrdom of Mar Quryaqus and Yoliti Full text