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Cornelius - The Roman Centurian who Became a Saint

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The Conversion of the Roman Centurian Cornelius

Cornelius was a Roman Centurion stationed in Caesarea, Palestine, who became the first Gentile Christian. He was a God-fearing man who prayed a lot and was always trying to be kind and considerate to everybody. One day, Cornelius has a vision in which an angel of God tells him that God has heard his prayers and is well pleased. The angel then tells Cornelius to send the men of his household to Joppa and seek out a man called Simon Peter.

At the same time Simon Peter has a vision in which he sees a blanket descend from Heaven filled with every kind of creature. Simon Peter then hears a voice which tells him to have something to eat and he replies that he is not allowed to eat these foods because they are unclean according to the law of Moses. The voice then says, "It's alright to eat them as God has cleansed them." This happened three times.

When the men from Cornelius arrive, Simon Peter begins to understand his vision from God. He believed that God was telling him that all people were welcome to be part of God's family so he should preach the word of God to the Gentiles. Simon Peter then goes with the men back to Caesarea to see Cornelius. As soon as Cornelius saw Simon Peter he fell at his feet. Simon Peter immediately raised Cornelius saying, "I myself am also a man." The two men then spoke about their visions and Simon Peter began telling them all about Jesus and the Resurrection.

Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, was then Baptised which was a very important event in the early Church history. From now onwards, the gates of the Church were open to everybody with no requirement to submit to Jewish ceremonial laws. Cornelius had become the first Gentile Christian.

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