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CPG  3593
Actual Author or Source  unknown
Source of Attribution to Julius I  John of Nicaea
Text  Greek: PG 96, coll. 1441-2; PG 33, coll. 1207-12
Other Translations
Source of Information Thompson,  Correspondence of Julius I, Thompson xlii, 200-201

1. Once Cyril, who had written the letter for Constantine and assumed his seat after him, wrote to Julius bishop of Rome. He wrote, saying, “Great labor and loss comes to the great and radiant feasts, for they are finished in one day and the readings and what follows remain divided in half between the two feasts because the birth and the baptism of the Lord cannot be divided. As we surely cannot come to the place of the baptism in one day (since Bethlehem is 3 miles away from Jerusalem to the South and the Jordan is 15 miles away to the East), then let your Holiness ordain to search for all the writings of the Jews which Caesar Titus stripped and carried from Jerusalem to Rome. Perhaps you may find securely the day of the birth of Christ our God.”
Then Julius of Rome carefully sought concerning this request, and gathering together all the writings of the Jews which had been seized and brought to Rome he found a certain writing of the historian Josephus. He had written that in the seventh month, in the feast of booths, on the day of Atonement, the angel of God appeared, and the priest, having been made mute, continued to not speak until his wife Elizabeth gave birth in her old age.

2. And Juvenal patriarch of Jerusalem wrote to Julius patriarch of Rome concerning this. “I cannot come to Bethlehem and the Jordan in one day. For the Jordan is 25 miles away from the city of Jerusalem to the east and holy Bethlehem is six miles away from the city to the south. And I cannot complete these two feasts in one day. So I entreat your piety, Father, to search for the records and give us in writing by an accurate search, your Honor, the knowledge about these things: on what day Christ our Lord was born and on what day he was baptized. For as we accurately know, the initial records were taken from Jerusalem to Rome in the time of Vespasian.
Having received this writing Julius patriarch of Rome searched the records and found that our Lord Jesus Christ was born on the 25th of December, and thirty years after his birth he was baptized by John in the Jordan River on the 6th day of the month of January. Therefore according to this search the fathers divided the feast. There was grumbling among the masses. . .

Translated by AMJ

Last updated: 8-31-2012

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