St. Julian Hospitaller is the patron saint of innkeepers, travelers, and boatmen. According to medieval legend, Julian was a nobleman who was told by a stag that he would kill his parents. To avoid this fate, Julian fled to another land where he married a wealthy widow. In the meantime his parents went searching for him, and one day they came across his castle while he was away. They told his wife who they were, and she allowed them to sleep in her bed. When Julian came home and found two people in his room, he killed them both.
patron special guardian, protector, or supporter
medieval relating to the Middle Ages in Europe, a period from about A . D . 500 to 1500
After discovering what he had done, Julian and his wife left the castle and opened an inn for travelers and a hospital for the poor. One night Julian risked his life to ferry a dying leper across the river near the inn. The leper turned out to be an angel sent by God to tell Julian he had been forgiven because of his good deeds. In paintings, St. Julian is often shown on horseback with a stag at his side. Many hospitals and inns are named after him.