The Appearance of the Head of St. Longinus, the Soldier
On this day was the appearance of the head of St. Longinus the Soldier who pierced the side of our Savior, when He was on the Cross. Emperor Tiberius Caesar sent a soldier to Cappadocia to cut off the head of this saint, as it is written in the 23rd day of the month of Abib. The soldier fulfilled the order and brought the head to Jerusalem, and handed it to Pontius Pilate. Pilate showed the head to the Jews, who rejoiced at his deed. Pilate commanded that the head be buried in some of the piles of dirt outside Jerusalem.
There was a woman who had believed at the hands of St. Longinus when he preached in Cappadocia. During his execution, she stood, weeping, and witnessed his martyrdom. Later on she became blind. So, she took her son and departed to Jerusalem to be blessed by the holy places, and the holy sepulchre, hoping that she might regain her sight. When she arrived in Jerusalem, her son died. She became very sad and grieved because of her condition and there was no one to take her back to her own country.
During her sleep she saw St. Longinus, and with him, was her son who had died. He directed her to whereabout his head was buried and ordered her to remove it. When she woke up, she looked for the place until she found it. She dug in the ground and a sweet aroma of incense came out.
When she reached the head of the saint, a great light shone from it and straightaway her eyes were opened and she was able to see.
She glorified the Lord Christ, kissed the head, perfumed it, and placed it with the body of her son. Then she returned to her own country glorifying the Lord Christ Who performed wonders through His saints.
The prayers of this saint be with us. Amen.
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