St. Juliana belonged to the noble Falconieri family of Florence. Her father built much of the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Florence. Her uncle, Alexis Falconieri, was one of the seven founders of the Servite Order. Under his influence, she decided at a young age to follow the consecrated life.
Before she had finished her fifteenth year, she renounced a large inheritance, and made to God a vow of virginity, before holy Philip Benizi, from whom she was the first to receive the religious habit.
“She would often fall in to long moments and hours of ecstacy… She was daily caring for the sick in the streets, homes, and in hospitals and was known for using her own lips to suck out the infection of her patients open sores without fear of contracting any illness.”
St. Juliana directed the community of Servite Tertiaries for 35 years and ministered to her sisters in the meanest offices of the work of the house. She passed whole days in incessant prayer, and was often rapt in spirit, and the remainder of her time she toiled to make peace among the citizens, who were at variance together, to recall transgressors from the ways of iniquity, and to nurse the sick.
It was her custom to afflict her own body with whips, knotted cords, iron girdles, watching, and sleeping upon the ground. Upon Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, she ate very sparingly some unpalatable food, upon Fridays she took nothing except the Bread of Angels, and upon Saturdays, besides the Holy Communion, only bread and water.
The self-inflicted hardships of her life brought upon her a disease of the stomach, whereby, when she was seventy years of age, she was brought to the point of death. At this time she was unable to receive Holy Communion because of constant vomiting, she requested the priest to spread a corporal upon her chest and lay the Eucharistic host on it. Shortly thereafter, the host disappeared and Juliana died, on June 19, 1341. The image of a cross, just like the one on the host, was found on her breast.
Adapted from the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Divine Office.
O God, Who miraculously fortified blessed Juliana, Your Virgin, in her last illness with the precious Body of Your Son, grant, we beseech You, that with her merits pleading for us, we also, refreshed and strengthened by the same sacrament in our dying agony, may be brought to our heavenly home.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.