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Coptic Synaxarium (Coptic Orthodox Calendar)

23 Apip
(The Twenty-Third Day of the Blessed Month of Abib)

 

The Martyrdom of St. Longinus the Soldier

On this day, St. Longinus the Soldier, was martyred. He was Greek by nationality, from one of the countries of Cappadocia. When Tiberius Caesar reigned, and appointed Pilate governor of the land of Judah, Longinus was one of the soldiers that accompanied him.

    When the time arrived that Our Lord wished to save the creation, Longinus was one of the soldiers that were in charge of crucifying the Lord of Glory. It happened that after the Lord had delivered up His soul, Longinus pierced His side with a spear, and blood and water flowed from His Side. Longinus marvelled exceedingly when he saw this, and his amazement increased when he saw that the sun became dark, the curtain of the Temple was rent, the rocks were split, and that the dead rose up from the tombs. He believed and realized all the miracles which Our Lord performed from His Birth to His Crucifixion. When the righteous Joseph took the body of the Savior, shrouded Him, and laid it in the sepulcher, this Saint was standing there with the guards when they sealed the tomb.

    When Our Lord rose from the sealed tomb, Longinus was perplexed, and he asked God to explain to him this mystery. Our Lord sent to him the Apostle Peter, who told him everything which had been prophesied concerning the Redeemer. He believed, abandoned the military service, went back to his country, and preached the Name of Christ.

    When Pilate heard about this, he wrote to Tiberius about him, who ordered his head cut off, and thus he received the crown of martyrdom.

May his prayers be with us, Amen.

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