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St. Longinus

Saint Longinus


Longinus was the name of the Roman soldier who, with his spear, henceforth known as the Holy Lance, opened the side of Our Lord after He expired on the Cross. As John relates in his Gospel, out of this final Holy Wound poured forth Blood and water, representing the Eucharist and Baptism. Thus, water is mixed with the wine before the Consecration at Holy Mass. Cornelius à Lapide notes that the miracle took place “to show the reality of Christ’s human nature”, and “to signify that the Church was formed as the Spouse of Christ out of the side of the second Adam dying on the Cross”. The opening itself signified “that heaven…was opened by His death”. Cornelius à Lapide also notes that it seems unlikely that this soldier was the same centurion who had just confessed that “indeed this Man was the Son of God”, as mentioned by the other three Gospels. Many traditional accounts, however, maintain that Longinus was indeed that same centurion. Longinus met his martyrdom at Caesarea in Cappadocia, sometime in the first century. He is mentioned on October 16th in the East and in the modern calendar.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 15th

AT Caesarea, in Cappadocia, the martyrdom of St. Longinus, the soldier who is said to have pierced our Lord’s side with a lance.

The same day, the birthday of St. Aristobulus, a disciple of the Apostles, who terminated by martyrdom a life spent in preaching the Gospel.

At Thessalonica, St. Matrona, servant of a Jewess, who, worshipping Christ secretly, and stealing away daily to the church to pray, was detected by her mistress, and subjected to many trials. Being at last beaten to death with heavy clubs, she gave up her pure soul to God in confessing Christ.

The same day, St. Menignus, a dyer, who suffered under Decius.

In Egypt, St. Meander, who, seeking diligently for the remains of the holy martyrs, merited to be made a martyr himself, under the emperor Diocletian.

At Cordova, St. Leocritia, virgin and martyr.

At Rome, the birthday of pope St. Zachary, who governed the Church of God with great vigilance, and renowned for merits, rested in peace.

At Rieti, the bishop St. Probus, at whose death the martyrs Juvenal and Eleutherius were present.

At Borne, St. Speciosus, a monk, whose soul his brother saw carried up to heaven.

At Vienna, in Austria, St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, a professed priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, remarkable for his energy in promoting the glory of God and the salvation of souls. As he became illustrious by his virtues and miracles, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius X placed him in the catalogue of Saints.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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