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E05304: John Moschus, in his Spiritual Meadow, recounts how *Ioulianos (probably either the martyr of Egypt, S01341, or the martyr of Cilicia, S00305) appeared to the Patriarch Eulogios of Alexandria in the guise of an archdeacon Ioulianos, which made Eulogios realise that the martyr wished him to rebuild his dilapidated church in Alexandria. Written in Greek, probably in Rome, in the 620s or 630s.

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posted on 2018-04-10, 00:00 authored by erizos
John Moschus, The Spiritual Meadow, 146


In this chapter Moschus recounts a story about Pope (Patriarch) Eulogios I of Alexandria (580-608), which he heard from Abba Menas, abbot of the monastery of Tougara, nine miles outside Alexandria in Egypt. One night Eulogios was performing the holy office alone in the chapel of the patriarchal residence. Suddenly, he saw Archdeacon Ioulianos standing behind him. The bishop was upset that the archdeacon had entered the church unannounced, but continued reading the psalm. After that, he prostrated himself, and the archdeacon did the same. When the bishop got up, the other remained prostrate on the ground, and Eulogios asked him how long he would lie there. He replied that he would do so till the bishop stretched out his hand and raised him up. The bishop did so and resumed the psalm, but, when he turned round, he saw nobody. He questioned the chamberlain and the porter whether they had let the archdeacon come to him unannounced, but they both asserted on oath that they had not. He similarly asked the archdeacon, who also denied having visited the bishop's house. Then Eulogios realised that the person he had seen was Ioulianos the martyr, who had come to urge him to rebuild his old and derelict church. The bishop eagerly had the church rebuilt from its foundations and splendidly decorated.

Text: Migne 1865 (PG 87.3). Summary: J. Doroszewska.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Ioulianos/Julianus, martyr of Cilicia : S00305 Ioulianos and Basilissa, martyrs in Egypt, ob. 305/311 : S01341 Ioulianos, Decian martyr of Alexandria : S00155

Saint Name in Source

Ἰουλιανὸς Ἰουλιανὸς Ἰουλιανὸς

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Monastic collections (apophthegmata, etc.)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

John Moschus

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - dependent (chapel, baptistery, etc.)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Saint as patron - of a community

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Saint aiding or preventing the construction of a cult building

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people Ecclesiastics - Popes Ecclesiastics - abbots


John Moschus (c. 540/550–634) was a monk and spiritual writer. He lived successively with the monks of the monastery of St. Theodosios, south-east of Jerusalem, among the hermits of the Jordan Valley, and at the Lavra of Pharan in the Judaean Desert, where he spent ten years. About the year 578 he went to Egypt with Sophronius, his close friend to whom he was to dedicate the Spiritual Meadow. After 583 he perhaps came to Mount Sinai where he spent about ten years. In around 604 he went to Antioch but returned to Egypt later in the same decade. In around 614-619 he went to Cyprus, then to North Africa, and then to Rome, where he died before ‘the beginning of the eighth indiction’ (i.e. September 634). He wrote the Spiritual Meadow and co-authored with Sophronius a Life of John the Almoner. The Spiritual Meadow (Gr. Leimōn pneumatikos; Lat. Pratum spirituale) was written in the 620s or 30s, very probably in Rome. The work narrates Moschus' personal experiences with many of the ascetics whom he met during his extensive travels, mainly through Palestine, Sinai and Egypt, but also Cilicia and Syria, and recounts the edifying stories and sayings that he received from them. The title of the work is explained as an analogy between picking flowers in a springtime meadow and picking edifying stories and sayings from the lives of holy men and women. The number of chapters varies depending on the manuscript.


The identity of Ioulianos is uncertain. The martyrdom account of Ioulianos of Cilicia reports that the main shrine of this martyr was in a suburb of Alexandria (E02549). This martyr, however, is not described as a deacon or cleric in his hagiography. It is possible that this is another Ioulianos, perhaps Ioulianos of Antinoopolis (S01341), whose cult seems to be an Egyptian variant of Ioulianos of Cilicia. This Ioulianos is described as a monk, but not as a deacon. A third possibility is an elderly man Ioulianos who was martyred in Alexandria under Decius, a story recorded in a letter of Dionysius of Alexandria to Fabius of Antioch, quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History 6.41.15 (E00277). This Ioulianos, however, is not described as a deacon either.


Edition: Migne, J.P, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 87.3 (Paris, 1865), 2851-3116. Translations: Maisano, R., Giovanni Mosco, Il prato (Naples, 2002). Rouët de Journel, M.-J., Jean Moschus, Le Pré Spirituel (Sources chrétiennes 12; Paris, 1946, repr. 2006). Wortley, J., John Moschos, The Spiritual Meadow (Cistercian Studies Series 139; Kalamazoo, 1992). Further reading: Baynes, N.H., "The Pratum spirituale," Orientalia Christiana Periodica 13 (1947), 404-414; repr. in Baynes, Byzantine Studies and Other Essays (London, 1955), 261-270. Binggeli, A. “Collections of Edifying Stories,” in: S. Efthymiadis (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography II: Genres and Contexts (Farnham, 2014), 143-160, esp. 146-147. Chadwick, H.J., "John Moschus and his friend Sophroonios the Sophist," Journal of Theological Studies 25 (1974), 41-74. Follieri, E., "Dove e quando mori Giovanni Mosco?," Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Neoellenici 25 (1988), 3-39. Mioni, E., "Il Pratum Spirituale di Giovanni Mosco: gli episodi inediti del Cod. Marciano greco II.21," Orientalia Christiana Periodica (1951), 61-94. Mioni, E., "Jean Moschus, Moine," Dictionnaire de Spiritualité 7 (1973), cols. 632-640. Nissen, T., "Unbekannte Erzählungen aus dem Pratum Spirituale," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 38 (1938), 351-376. Pattenden, P., "The text of the Pratum Spirituale," Journal of Theological Studies 26 (1975), 38-54.

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