Saint Longinus is a figure revered in Christian tradition for his role in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. According to the Gospel of John, Longinus was the Roman soldier who pierced the side of Jesus with a spear during his crucifixion, leading to the outpouring of blood and water that is interpreted as a symbol of the Eucharist.
He is believed to have been a Roman centurion, and he converted to Christianity after witnessing the events of the crucifixion. He is said to have eventually left the army and become a monk, spending the rest of his life in solitude and penitence.
There he was arrested for his faith, his teeth forced out and tongue cut off. However, St. Longinus miraculously continued to speak clearly and managed to destroy several idols in the presence of the governor. The governor, who was made blind by the demons that came from the idols, had his sight restored when St. Longinus was being beheaded, because his blood came in contact with the governors’ eyes.
St. Longinus’ relics are now in the church of St Augustine, in Rome. His Lance is contained in one of the four pillars over the altar in the Basilica of St Peter’s in Rome.
He has become an important figure in Christian devotion and iconography. Many churches and cathedrals around the world are dedicated to him, and he is often depicted in artwork alongside other figures from the Passion of Christ.
In addition to his association with the crucifixion, Longinus is sometimes invoked in prayers and rituals for protection against evil and danger. Some traditions also hold that he is a patron saint of soldiers, due to his military background.
While Longinus remains a somewhat mysterious figure, his importance in Christian tradition speaks to the enduring power of the story of Jesus and his crucifixion. His role in the events of that fateful day has inspired countless works of art, music, and literature, and his memory continues to be honored by Christians around the world.
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