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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saint Cornelius the Centurion

Saint Cornelius the Centurion
This Cornelius was a Centurion of the Italian band of Roman soldiers in Caesarea of Palestine, a devout proselyte of the Jews, who feared God with all his house, and gave much alms to the poor, and prayed to God always. The same saw in a vision an Angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him that his prayers and lams were come up for a memorial before God. The Angel thereupon bade him send unto Joppa, to the house of one Simon, a tanner, for to find the holy Apostle Peter. Who also was warned of god in a vision, so that when Cornelius sent unto him, he as Christ’s Apostle came without delay, and instructed and baptized Cornelius and all his house, whereupon the Holy Ghost fell upon them. Simeon Metaphrases and other ecclesiastical writers say that some time after his Baptism he was consecrated by Saint Peter to be the first Bishop of Caesarea, where he strove mightily to set forward the kingdom of God, and confessed Christ right manfully , and died a rope old age, and was buried secretly in a tomb belonging to a friend. Of this tomb it is related that a bramble grew up, and so covered the doorway that none could enter therein, until Saint Silvanus, Bishop Philippopolis in Thrace, came long after, and upon the discovering of his hollowed relicks, removed the same to a worthy shrine.

O God, who didst inspire blessed Cornelius the Centurion, and all his household, with the grace of holy fear, so that his prayers and alms came up as a memorial before thee : grant us, after his example, to lay hold on the beginning of wisdom in this life ; and by perseverance as good soldiers of Christ to attain hereafter to the fulness thereof in him who is true Wisdom, even the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.


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