Today, October 16, the Orthodox Church commemorates Saint Longinus the Centurion and the two soldiers who martyred with him. Our Church also celebrates the memory of Venerable Malus the Hermit, and Saints Leontius, Dometius, Terence and Domninus, martyrs by fire.
Saint Longinus came from Cappadocia and lived during the reign of Emperor Tiberius. He was the head of the detachment of soldiers to which Pontius Pilate assigned the crucifixion of the Lord as well as the sealing and guarding of the tomb of Jesus Christ. As they witnessed the miracles that took place at the time of the crucifixion, Saint Longinus believed in Christ and uttered the phrase written down in the Holy Gospel: “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27, 54).
He immediately gave up everything and along with two soldiers fled to his homeland, Cappadocia, where he was dedicated to preaching the miracle of the Resurrection of the Lord. This act was denounced by the Jews to Pontius Pilate, who denounced the defection of Longinus and the two soldiers to Tiberius.
Then, by order of the emperor, his envoys went and found Saint Longinus and the two soldiers who followed him. They were preaching the Gospel of the Resurrection. Before being decapitated, he informed Saint Longinus of the decision of Emperor Tiberius. Being overwhelmed by the grace and blessing of the Resurrection of Christ, Saint Longinus hosted the detachment and prepared his tomb. So did the two loyal soldiers of Saint Longinus. The emperor’s envoys decapitated the martyrs the following day. Those who endure with dignity to the end the temptations and the disdain of this world remain peaceful and happy, always devoted to the Crucified and Resurrected Jesus Christ.
Source: Church of Cyprus