Today is the feast day of Saint Julian the Hospitaller, honoured for his work with the sick and dying. One day out hunting as a young man, Julian was warned by a stag that he would kill his parents. To prevent the prediction coming true, he left home and started a new life, eventually marrying a rich widow and living in a grand castle. Here, his bereaved parents tracked him down. Julian was away at the time, but his wife took in the elderly couple and offered them her bed. The next day, Julian returned and, finding two people in his wife's bed, suspected the worse and ran them through with his sword. Sick with grief at his error, Julian attempted to atone by devoting his life to the the sick and dying. His legendary hospitality to strangers makes him the patron saint of circus performers, boatmen and innkeepers.
12 February 1804: Immanuel Kant (above), the pre-eminent philosopher of his time, died in Konigsberg, aged 80. The poet Heine wrote of him that he had neither life nor history but an existence so drearily ordered that neighbours could set their clocks by his 3.30pm afternoon walk. His great contribution to European thought was the Critique of Pure Reason, written in 1781 in response to David Hume's philosophical scepticism. Kant argued that the mind itself gave structure to our perceptions providing concepts of time, space and causality, without which experience would be chaotic and unintelligible.Reuse content