ABOUT the year 361, Julian, uncle to the emperor of that name, and like his nephew an apostate, was made Count of the East. He closed the Christian churches at Antioch, and when St. Theodoret assembled the Christians in private, he was summoned before the tribunal of the Count and most inhumanly tortured. His arms and feet were fastened by ropes to pulleys, and stretched until his body appeared nearly eight feet long, and the blood streamed from his sides.
“O most wretched man,” he said to his judge, “you know well that at the day of judgment the crucified God Whom you blaspheme will send you and the tyrant whom you serve to hell.” Julian trembled at this awful prophecy, but he had the Saint despatched quickly by the sword, and in a little while the judge himself was arraigned before the judgment-seat of God.
Reflection.—Those who do not go down to hell in spirit are very likely to go there in reality. Take care to meditate upon the four last things, and to live in holy fear. You will learn to love God better by thinking how He punishes those who hate Him.