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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Juliana, Mother of the Virgin Demetrias


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Juliana (8), mother of the virgin DEMETRIAS, to whom we have letters from Jerome, Augustine, pope Innocent, and Pelagius. She was of noble birth, being connected through her mother Proba and her husband Olybrius with some of the greatest families of Rome, and was possessed of great wealth. When her daughter proposed to take vows of virginity, she refrained from influencing her; but when Demetrias appeared in the church clad in the dress of a virgin she shewed her great delight at this step. She supported the cause of Chrysostom at Rome and entertained his messengers. His thanks were conveyed in a letter from his place of exile (A.D. 406), exhorting her to hold fast and aid in allaying the waves of controversy (Chrys. Ep. 169). She fled with her daughter to Africa from Rome when it was sacked by Alaric, but fell into the rapacious hands of count Heraclion, who robbed her of half her property. She was commended to the African churches by pope Innocent in a laudatory letter ( Ep. 25), which takes the rank of a decree in the collection of papal rescripts by Dion. Exig. (Coll. Dec. 39; Hieron. Ep. 130, ed. Vall.). She became acquainted with Augustine while in Africa, and she and her daughter had relations with Pelagius, who wrote a long letter to Demetrias (given among the Supposititia of Jerome; ed. Vall. vol. xi.) vindicating free will by her example. Augustine, with Alypius, wrote to Juliana (Aug. Ep. 188, A.D. 418), arguing that all the virtues of Demetrias were from the grace of God.

[W.H.F.]


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Juliana, Mother of the Virgin Demetrias'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hwd/j/juliana-mother-of-the-virgin-demetrias.html. 1911.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 26th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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