«A cheerful look brings joy to the heart good news makes for good health* (Proverbs 15:30, NLT).
Julián Hernández was born in a humble home in Villaverde, a village in the region of Campos, in the north of Spain, in the late twenties or early thirties of the sixteenth century. In his early youth, he went to live in the Netherlands and, later, to Germany, at a time when Martin Luther’s ideas had spread throughout the region. There he worked as an apprentice in a printing press and later, as a typesetter. It is possible that in his hands fell one of the books published in Spanish with Lutheran ideas from Juan de Valdés, Francisco Enzinas, or Juan Pérez. The fact is that he became interested in the truths of the gospel and decided to follow Jesus. Because of his low stature caused by his hump, he became known as «Julianillo (little Julián) and «El Chico»; the French called him «Julien le Petit.» He spent quite some time in the reformed churches of Paris, Scotland, and Frankfurt, where he continued to strengthen his faith in Jesus through the Bible and he enjoyed His teachings.
But in the heart of Julián there was a deep yearning: to share the hope of the gospel in his beloved Spain. Disguised as a peddler, Julián specialized in introducing Protestant literature to the Iberian Peninsula. He had two depots in Seville: one in the city, in the house of Don Juan Ponce de Le6n, and the other in the monastery of San Isidoro del Campo, guarded by the friars. Thanks to Julián, the light of the gospel could shine in these lands.
In October 1557, Julián fell into the hands of the Inquisition. He was imprisoned for more than three years enduring brutal torture to which he was subjected on several occasions. In such hard times, the faithful servant of God remained persistent in his convictions. Great efforts were made to persuade him to abandon his ideas, but it was all in vain. Neither the threats nor the tortures could subdue him. He was burned alive in an act of faith held in Seville on December 22, 1560, along with other believers.
The sacrifice of Julián, as well as that of other martyrs, was not in vain. The seed of the reform remained in Spain and reemerged years later. The Bible says: «Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints» (Psalm 116:15).
Today we live in times of religious freedom and respect for civil rights. Ask the Lord to help you share the good news of the gospel with others.