By Bishop Gregorios of Mesaoria
Today, our Church is celebrating the pre celebration of the Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross and honours the memory of Hieromartyr Cornelius, who was a Roman Centurion and a devout man.
He accepted the Christian faith and joined the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church thanks to the preaching of Apostle Peter. Having acquired the genuine experience of the ecclesiastical spirit, he decided to embark on a tour to teach Christianity himself.
He taught in Phoenicia, Cyprus, Antioch and Ephesus. He was ordained hierarch of the Church of Scepsis in Mysia. Thanks to his courageous confession among pagans, many were the ones who wanted to and decided to be baptized Christians. This, of course, caused a storm of reactions, as well as the devil’s envy.
So, Provincial Governor Demetrios arrested him and led him to the temple of idolaters, which at that time was full. He publicly pressed him to deny Christ. But Cornelius found the opportunity to teach the Gospel and herald an earthquake that would not harm Governor Demetrios, his wife, and his son who were in the temple. And so it was: whoever was in the temple was killed except the family of the Governor, who after the event was convinced, confessed the true God, and they were all baptized Christians.
Upon his release from Demetrios, Hieromartyr Cornelius continued his work and died in a very old age.
Both warm prayers that show faith in God, as well as mercy and charity that show love for the fellow human beings are precious virtues and fruits of the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Source: Church of Cyprus