Being out of the military service, he decided to travel to Lystra with objective of to meet Juliana.
Of Caesarea he went of ship to Antioquia and from there, he traveled to Lycaonia, where is Lystra’s city, with approximately 15.000 inhabitants. Its territory is surrounded by the rocky mountain, having a natural and concrete shield. In the center was the Citadel, with its fortress and towers. The streets were narrow and always were crowded of people, revealing a hardworking population and worried with daily duties.
Longinus stayed in the Kalil Hostel, close to the Citadel.
The night was very clear and bright due to a majestic full moon, and the temperature still was very high, in consequence of the hot day of summer.
He came out for a walk in order to appreciate the local beauty.
In a small square, where a
water fountain could be seen, some people were listening to a preacher silently.
Taken by curiosity, he walked to there, because wanted to know what that man
said. He was Paul of Tarsus, Apostle of LORD, and was teaching the Christian
doctrine. Most of people were Christians, or they were getting ready to be baptized
(were catechumens). But there were also curious people like him which were
attracted by the preacher's vigorous speech. So, Longinus had the opportunity to
testify a remarkable scene, that deeply it marked his spirit:
“A man born lame it sat down in the first line, next to Paul, hearing the words about the CREATOR'S mercy; in an opportunity, it waved the hand asking permission to talk”:
- "Preacher, what I must do in order to get GOD'S mercy?"
The Apostle perceiving that man’s sincerity and his hope in to achieve the Divine mercy, stared into his eyes and said:
- “Obey the Commandments, love to GOD and having charity for all the people, because they are your brothers.”
Then, with the arms opened and looking in direction at the heaven, said:
- “In the name of JESUS CHRIST LORD, get up from this chair and go home”.
The lame man although stunned with the order received, very skillfully jumped out of chair and walking with disembarrassment, it demonstrated a jolly gladness , while the crowd, full of surprise and admired, it cried of happiness, praising and glorifying GOD, testifying that unquestionable miracle. (At 14.8-10)
While they were celebrating the miracle, Paul humbly escaped of them, while the crowd wanted to talk with the man cured.
On the following day, the city woke with the news of that born-lame man's miraculous cure; the newness have spread fast in the entire town.
The centurion, with very disposition, started the search trying to find where was the Orlando Taglivine’s property. In fact, it went not difficult because he was very well known. Soon Longinus got to know where was, and also, the best way to get there. The path was good and easy and it wasn't far. But, he began hesitating. His thoughts sometimes encouraged, but in others moments they discouraged... He thought: And if she's married? Will be that she is still in love with me of the same way when she was younger? Will be that she would consider of natural way now that I'm mutilated of war?
Tortured and intimidated by a flow of negative thoughts, he stayed the whole day wandering by town, gathering more information and maturing your courage.
In the following day he woke with more courage, it wanted to meet Juliana. So he made a plan and placed a fixed idea in the mind. He sent someone to buy grapes in Mr. Orlando's property, recommending to look for gal and to say: “In Alexandria, Longinus while fighting against the Eastern barbarians went severely hurt and mutilate”. The messenger it accomplished exactly the mission and it came back to town narrating to Longinus. He said that Juliana stayed very perplexed with the news, but hasn't reacted... And also didn't make questions.
Still managing the same strategy, two days later, Longinus sent the same person to buy another box of grapes.
The gal recognized him since a certain distance and ran towards him, but in this opportunity, making a deluge of questions! She wanted to know everything about Longinus. She had spent two terrible days, in complete "suspense", not being able to concentrate in the work in face of that first news. For this reason, now she wanted to know all truth, what had really happened, like was your health and mainly, where was he ?
The guy previously instructed, tried not to answer directly, presenting arguments without any consistence and being rather enigmatic, because in verity, he also didn't know the facts that had happened to Longinus. Therefore, before the gal's persistence he gave Kalil Hostel's address, saying that there she could obtain better information about Longinus.
Although she wanted current news, the work not could to stop. For this reason, she decided to wait until Sunday morning... She and your mother have walked fast to town.
Longinus dressing the clothes of Roman centurion, full of hope looked by window of the building; he saw two ladies in the route of the Hostel walking fast. Assuring himself that those could be Juliana and her mother, he came down the stairs, walked across the street and turning your back to where they were coming, pretending to show that he was seeing something very important. However the women could distinguish of the other side of street a handsome Roman centurion, a strong man, which have reminded them of someone very familiar... They have slowed down of their steps and have started reflecting... That insinuations of the guy that bought the boxes of grapes ... And now, looking that centurion, they have perceived that he was not an ordinary soldier, but a graduated of the army who didn't have the left arm. Then, could be Longinus himself over there...
Juliana manifested affliction and soon, it tried to hide the surprise taking the hands at face. But it began to cry. The mother wishing to help, it held her hugging tenderly to comfort her.
Longinus perceived their proximity and it sought to maintain the feeling under control, but your heart was small for so great emotion and in truth, he wished same was to hold Juliana in the arms and to reveal his immense love. But he needed to control himself, because in such situation the better was to wait first her reaction...
The young gal, after some time, she got to allay the spirit and decided to stare the man.
The mother advised :
- “Daughter, if wanting we may go back home, or we may to meet with the members of the Christian Community!”
- “No, mother, I’m well. Without doubt, is sad to see a mutilated person ... But he is Longinus … And the most important thing is that he’s alive. I need to talk with him... Let's go”...
No words were spoken; the three if have embraced each other and they have cried together, for a long time, a reaction which translated greatness of happiness that they have missed in this time that passed. For that reason, they were thanking GOD for this precious meeting. Embraced each one at the others, they have walked up to the end of the street where there was a small forest with flowers and shades of several trees. They have sat down and have kept talking not paying attention on time and the hours flew…
They went back happier home.
Longinus every night visited Juliana in the Orlando's property, when they made plans for future.
Mr. Orlando was married, but had no kids. He was in need of a responsible person to help him due the business growth. He invited Longinus to work on his property. The invitation was welcomed, because the Centurion didn't want to travel with Juliana and to leave his mother-in-law, Mrs. Sylvana, there alone, she that always took care with daughter.
So, their plans have begun if to delineate. They would live in a small house in the holding, together with Sylvana. With time, they would work in the house extension to provide more comfort to them.
Having all solved, he decided to travel to Jerusalem to inform the authorities your localization in Lystra, with objective to receive the monthly benefit from the Roman Legion in the new address.
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