June 26: The Anniversary of the Death of an Apostate

June 26, 2020 (Steven O’Reilly) – On this day, June 26, in the year 363 A.D., 1657 years ago, the Roman Emperor Julian — known to history as Julian the Apostate — died as the result of wounds he had received during the Battle of Samarra.

Julian had wanted to restore the declining pagan religion of the Greeks and Romans, and reverse the spread of the Christian faith in the Roman empire. He lived at a time during the Arian crisis when the Church was weakened and divided. Julian had grand hopes of building a hierarchical pagan religion to replace Christianity. Cardinal Newman had considered him a ‘shadow of the Antichrist.’ To further his plans, Julian had hoped to falsify the words of Christ and the Gospels–and thus prove the Christian religion false– by rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem.  However, Divine intervention brought his efforts to a halt.

The interesting story, it seemed to me, has some significance for the times in which we live. My article on Julian’s failed attempt to rebuild the Temple — and what halted it, may be found here:

The Historicity of Miracles: The Case of Julian the Apostate and a Lesson for Our Time

The Roman historian Ammianus reports the 31-year-old Julian died about midnight on the same night following the battle. Philostorgius wrote that a wretched Julian cursed his gods as he was in the throes of death, calling them “villains and destroyers.” Theodoret says Julian cursed Christ, who he had disdainfully called “the galilean.” His efforts to rebuild the Temple and to overthrow Christianity having failed, Theodoret writes that “It is related that when Julian had received the wound, he filled his hand with blood, flung it into the air and cried, “Thou hast won, O Galilean.”

Julian the Apostate — a ‘shadow of the Antichrist’ – is an important character in the historical-fiction trilogy I am working on, entitled PIA FIDELIS. Book one of the series, The Two Kingdoms, begins at the outset of a great Roman civil war in 351 A.D., during the time of the Arian crisis when the Church was gravely weakened and divided.  It is a tale of adventure, romance, and faith.  PIA FIDELIS: The Two Kingdoms is available via Kindle, paperback, or hardback on Amazon, or you may order at a local book store in the U.S. or internationally. Please take a look!

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. A former intelligence officer, he and his wife, Margaret, live near Atlanta with their family. He has written apologetic articles and is author of the recently published Book I of the Pia Fidelis trilogy, The Two Kingdoms. (Follow on twitter at @fidelispia for updates). He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at StevenOReilly@AOL.com (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA or on Parler: @StevenOReilly)

7 thoughts on “June 26: The Anniversary of the Death of an Apostate

  1. Two quotes from your article:
    – It is a testimony of withdrawal from the worship of other gods, a testimony of conversion.

    – It is a testimony to a deep conversion and self-sacrifice to the only God, as Paul / Saul, another persecutor of the Church, confessed before his death: [2Tim4, 6] “For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand. ”
    ‘O Galilean’ – a term that previously expressed contempt is now an expression of tenderness.
    Saint Basil prayed for the neutralization of the Emperor Julian (preventing his return from Persia) before the icon on which Our Lady was in the company of Saint Mercury. Jesus did not send a famous soldier and general to simply kill the persecutor of the Church. Jesus sent Mercury to Persia to win Him the soul of the Emperor the Apostate. It worked: The heavenly warrior hurt Julian in such a way that he would have time for self-examination, remorse for sins, repentance and offering himself to the Galilean, the only God. After completing the mission Saint Marcury appeared again on the icon, but the tip of his spear was drowned in blood. The blood of Emperor Julian could be found on the holy icon because it was the blood of a penitent and not an apostate. Consequently, the title Emperor Julian the Penitent should be used. The emperor the Apostate went to Persia, and emperor the Catholic (Jovinian) with relics of the emperor Julian the Penitent returned from that war expedition. It was a war for the soul of the Christian Roman Empire!

    Laramie Hirsch did one stupid thing: http://forge-and-anvil.com/2020/07/01/i-now-believe-that-only-benedict-is-pope/
    Could you help him with your authority by posting a comment?


    1. Myron…regard Julian…it wasn’t clear to me when you said “From your article”….those quotes do not appear in my article. Were you citing another source?

      As to Julian’s eternal fate….interesting thoughts above….but….that’s above my pay grade! It is in the hands of the Lord.

      Thanks for reading the articles.



      1. There is indeed a copy & paste problem. Correction:

        The 1st quote: “Philostorgius wrote that a wretched Julian cursed his gods as he was in the throes of death, calling them “villains and destroyers.”

        The 2nd quote: “…Theodoret writes that “It is related that when Julian had received the wound, he filled his hand with blood, flung it into the air and cried, “Thou hast won, O Galilean.”

        In the combox ‘Nonvenipacem’ I read your discussion with Mark D. & Johnno – an exciting exchange, however the prophecy of Saint Malachi contains the whole truth about the end of papacy in Rome.

        God bless America!
        July 4 (5 USA), the fiesta of the Virgen del Refugio & commemoratio of saint Elizabeth of Portugal ‘the Peacemaker’


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