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Longinus
Longinus
/ˌlɒnˈdʒaɪnəs/ is the name given in Christian mythology[1] to the unnamed Roman soldier who pierced Jesus
Jesus
in his side with a lance and who in medieval and some modern Christian traditions is described as a convert to Christianity.[2] The lance is called in Christianity the "Holy Lance" (lancea and his story is related in the Latin Vulgate
Vulgate
Bible) during the Crucifixion.[3] This act is said to have created the last of the Five Holy Wounds
Five Holy Wounds
of Christ. This individual, unnamed in the Gospels, is further identified in some versions of the legend as the centurion present at the Crucifixion, who said that Jesus
Jesus
was the son of God.[4] Longinus' legend grew over the years to the point that he was said to have converted to Christianity after the Crucifixion, and he is traditionally venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and several other Christian communions.

Contents

1 Origins of the myth 2 Present-day veneration 3 In popular culture 4 Gallery 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Origins of the myth[edit]

Saint
Saint
Longinus
Longinus
in Saint
Saint
Peter's Basilica by Bernini.

No name for this soldier is given in the Gospels; the name Longinus
Longinus
is instead found in the pseudepigraphal Gospel
Gospel
of Nicodemus
Nicodemus
that was appended to the apocryphal Acts of Pilate. Longinus
Longinus
did not start out as a saint. An early tradition, found in the 4th-century pseudepigraphal "Letter of Herod to Pilate", claims that Longinus suffered for having pierced Jesus, and that he was condemned to a cave where every night a lion came and mauled him until dawn, after which his body healed back to normal, in a pattern that would repeat till the end of time.[5] Later traditions turned him into a Christian convert, but as Sabine Baring-Gould
Sabine Baring-Gould
observed: "The name of Longinus was not known to the Greeks previous to the patriarch Germanus, in 715. It was introduced amongst the Westerns from the Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus. There is no reliable authority for the Acts and martyrdom of this saint."[4] However, an old tradition does link the birthplace of Longinus
Longinus
with the village of Anxanum (Lanciano), Samnite territory, in today's Abruzzo
Abruzzo
region of central Italy.[6] The name is probably Latinized from the Greek lonche (λόγχη), the word used for the lance mentioned in John 19:34.[7] It first appears lettered on an illumination of the Crucifixion beside the figure of the soldier holding a spear, written, perhaps contemporaneously, in horizontal Greek letters, LOGINOS (ΛΟΓΙΝΟϹ), in the Syriac gospel manuscript illuminated by a certain Rabulas in the year 586, in the Laurentian Library, Florence. The spear used is known as the Holy Lance, and more recently, especially in occult circles, as the "Spear of Destiny", which was revered at Jerusalem
Jerusalem
by the sixth century, although neither the centurion nor the name "Longinus" were invoked in any surviving report. As the "Lance of Longinus", the spear figures in the legends of the Holy Grail.[citation needed] Blindness or other eye problems are not mentioned until after the tenth century.[8] Petrus Comestor
Petrus Comestor
was one of the first to add an eyesight problem to the legend and his text can be translated as "blind", "dim-sighted" or "weak-sighted. The Golden Legend says that he saw celestial signs before conversion and that his eye problems might have been caused by illness or age.[9] The touch of Jesus's blood cures his eye problem:

Christian legend has it that Longinus
Longinus
was a blind Roman centurion who thrust the spear into Christ’s side at the crucifixion. Some of Jesus’s blood fell upon his eyes and he was healed. Upon this miracle Longinus
Longinus
believed in Jesus.[10]

The body of Longinus
Longinus
is said to have been lost twice, and that its second recovery was at Mantua
Mantua
in 1304, together with the Holy Sponge stained with Christ's blood, wherewith it was told—extending Longinus' role—that Longinus
Longinus
had assisted in cleansing Christ's body when it was taken down from the cross. The relic, corpules of alleged blood taken from the Holy Lance, enjoyed a revived cult in late 13th century Bologna
Bologna
under the combined impetus of the Grail romances, the local tradition of eucharistic miracles, the chapel consecrated to Longinus, the Holy Blood in the Benedictine monastery church of Sant'Andrea,[citation needed] and the patronage of the Bonacolsi.[citation needed] The relics are said to have been divided and then distributed to Prague
Prague
and elsewhere, with the body taken to the Basilica of Sant'Agostino in Rome. However, official guides of the Basilica do not mention the presence of any tomb associated with Saint
Saint
Longinus. It is also said that the body of Longinus
Longinus
was found in Sardinia; Greek sources assert that he suffered martyrdom in Gabala, Cappadocia.[citation needed] Present-day veneration[edit]

Longinus
Longinus
the Centurion. Russian icon
Russian icon
by Fyodor Zubov, 1680.

Longinus
Longinus
is venerated, generally as a martyr, in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Apostolic Church. His feast day is kept on 16 October in the Roman Martyrology, which mentions him, without any indication of martyrdom, in the following terms: "At Jerusalem, commemoration of Saint
Saint
Longinus, who is venerated as the soldier opening the side of the crucified Lord with a lance".[11] The original feast day of 15 March is still maintained in the liturgical calendar in the Extraordinary Form. The Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
commemorates him on 16 October. In the Armenian Apostolic Church, his feast is commemorated on October 22.[12] The statue of Saint
Saint
Longinus, sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, is one of four in the niches beneath the dome of Saint
Saint
Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. A spearpoint fragment said to be from the Holy Lance
Holy Lance
is also conserved in the Basilica. Longinus
Longinus
and his legend are the subject of the Moriones Festival held during Holy Week on the island of Marinduque, the Philippines. In popular culture[edit]

In Irving Pichel's 1939 film The Great Commandment, Albert Dekker portrays him as the commanding officer of a Roman army company escorting a tax collector about Judea. Subsequently, he is converted to Christianity through the kindness of Joel bar Lamech and by his own experiences at Golgotha. In the George Stevens's 1965 film The Greatest Story Ever Told, Longinus
Longinus
is identified with the centurion who professed, "Truly this man was the Son of God" on Golgotha (portrayed by John Wayne
John Wayne
in a cameo role).[13][14] Longinus
Longinus
is a leading character in the 2005 four-issue comic series The Light Brigade by DC Comics.[15] The comic takes place in 1944 during World War II and features an immortal Longinus
Longinus
doomed to walk the Earth to atone for his deed by fighting fallen angels and their allies. Casca Rufio Longinus, in the Casca novel series by Barry Sadler, accidentally ingests some of Christ's blood after lancing him. He is condemned by Christ
Christ
to walk the earth as a soldier until they meet again at the Second Coming. Cassius Longinus
Longinus
is the main character of Louis de Wohl's novel The Spear (1955).

Gallery[edit]

Longinus
Longinus
depicted in the Nea Moni Church, Chios, Greece

Christ
Christ
on the Cross, the three Marys, John the Evangelist, and Saint Longinus

Saint
Saint
Longinus
Longinus
in Bom Jesus
Jesus
do Monte

Frescoe of in Basilica of St Peter and St Paul
Basilica of St Peter and St Paul
in Vyšehrad
Vyšehrad
(Prague).

See also[edit]

List of names for the Biblical nameless Moriones Festival Wandering Jew, a figure with whom he is sometimes identified

References[edit]

^ Bunson, M., Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p. 244, Facts on File, 1994 ISBN 0-8160-2135-X ^ Fuhrmann, Christopher (11 April 2014). Policing the Roman Empire: Soldiers, Administration, and Public Order (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 231. ISBN 978-0199360017.  ^ John 19:34. ^ a b Baring-Gould, The Lives of the Saints, vol. III (Edinburgh) 1914, sub "March 15: S[aint] Longinus
Longinus
M[artyr]"; Baring-Gould adds, "The Greek Acts pretend to be by S. Hesychius (March 28th), but are an impudent forgery of late date." (on-line text). ^ Ehrman, Bart, "Forged: Writing in the Name of God", Chapter 5. ^ Sniadach, Keith. Relics of God: A Supernatural Guide to Religious Artifacts, Sacred Locations & Holy Souls. Keith Sniadach, 2010. p. 73. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. ^ See at Kontos; "The name cannot be ascribed to any tradition; its obvious derivation from logchē (λόγχη), spear or lance, shows that it was, like that of Saint
Saint
Veronica, fashioned to suit the event," noted Elizabeth Jameson, The History of Our Lord as Exemplified in Works of Art 1872:160. ^ Sticca, Sandro (1970). The Latin Passion Play: Its Origins and Development. State University of New York. p. 159. ISBN 978-0873950459. Retrieved 27 March 2018.  ^ Ruth House Webber (1995). "Jimena's Prayer in the Cantor de Mio Cid and the French Epic Prayer". In Caspi, Michael. Oral Tradition and Hispanic Literature: Essays in Honor of Samuel G. Armistead. Routledge. p. 633. ISBN 978-0815320623. Retrieved 27 March 2018.  ^ Godwin, Malcolm (1994). The Holy Grail: Its Origins, Secrets & Meaning Revealed. Viking Penguin. p. 51. ISBN 0-670-85128-0.  ^ "Hierosolymae, commemoratio sancti Longini, qui miles colitur latus Domini cruci affixi lancea aperiens" - Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7), Die 16 octobris ^ Calendar of Saints (Armenian Apostolic Church) ^ Clarke, Howard W. (2003). The Gospel
Gospel
of Matthew and Its Readers: A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel. Indiana University Press. p. 241. ISBN 0-253-34235-X.  ^ Leonard Maltin, 2004 Movie & Video Guide, (New York: New American Library, 2003), 558 sub loco. ^ Light Brigade, Goodreads

External links[edit]

The Reliquary of Saint
Saint
Longinus Catholic Forum: St. Longinus St. Longinus Catholic-Saints St. Longinus Longinus Martyr Longinus

v t e

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Jesus
Christ

In Christianity Historical Life in the New Testament

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Penitent thief
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Impenitent thief
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Nicodemus
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Evangelist Patmos "Disciple whom Jesus
Jesus
loved"

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Evangelist cousin of Barnabas

Mary, mother of (John) Mark Matthias Mnason Nicanor Nicholas Parmenas Paul Philip Priscilla Prochorus Publius Rhoda Sapphira Sceva Seven Deacons Silas / Silvanus Simeon Niger Simon Magus Sopater Sosthenes Stephen Theudas Timothy Titus Trophimus Tychicus Zenas

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Antipas Archelaus Herod the Great Herodias Longinus Philip Pilate Pilate's wife Quirinius Salome Tiberius

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Agrippa Agrippa II Berenice Cornelius Drusilla Felix Festus Gallio Lysias Paullus

Epistles

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Jesus
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Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 25401950 LCCN: n90684624 GND: 118947397 SUDOC: 174997566 BNF: cb1610

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