July 14, 2023

Serra Club Vocations Essay

St. Juliana of Cornillon inspires student to ‘prevail in humility’

(Editor’s note: The Indianapolis Serra Club’s annual John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest awards prizes each spring to winning essayists in grades 7-12 in the archdiocese. This week, we continue with the winning entry in the 10th grade.)

By Audrey May (Special to The Criterion)

Audrey MaySt. Juliana of Cornillon was a woman, an orphan, and a daughter, but most importantly, she was a follower of Christ.

Though it is not widely known, her faith and perseverance contributed to the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi. St. Juliana of Cornillon’s life illustrates the prominence of devotion to the Eucharist. Through her devotion, she fulfilled her vocation.

At the age of 16, Juliana received a vision during eucharistic adoration where a moon presented itself crossed by a dark stripe. The moon symbolized the life of the Church on Earth while the line represented the lack of a liturgical feast on which believers would be able to adore the Eucharist in order to increase their faith.

Juliana’s heart became filled with joy, and she immersed herself in prayer to wait patiently. Following her vision, Juliana’s devotion to the Eucharist allowed her the strength to confide in two friends, also fervent adorers of the Eucharist, and Father John Lausanne.

Fulfilling her vocation of establishing a liturgical feast for the Eucharist, Juliana requested Father Lausanne to consult theologians and clerics about such a feast. Accompanied later by other bishops, Bishop Robert Torote accepted Juliana’s proposal and introduced the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

St. Juliana’s devotion to the Eucharist empowered her to overcome the harsh opposition of certain clergy. Her fervent love for the Eucharist inspires me to prevail in humility. Throughout the brutal opposition she endured, she never offered criticism for her adversaries. She continued to obediently spread eucharistic worship.

St. Juliana truly inspires me because, as she faced opposition, she turned to God rather than straying from him. She in no way allowed the opposition to define who she was, as I fail to accomplish today.

St. Juliana died loving and adoring the Lord in the Eucharist. Her love for the Eucharist inspires me to love the Lord as she did. She devoted her life to serving the Lord through her vocation, exemplifying a life given to God.

(Audrey and her parents, Bill and Kimberley May, are members of Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish in Indianapolis. She recently completed the 10th grade at the Roncalli High School in Indianapolis and is the 10th-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2023 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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