It was a sunny day, the sky was cloudless and completely blue, and a soft breeze it lazily blew from the sea to the earth, when Longinus disembarked in Messina.
A wide smile occupied his face and the heart jumped like a playful boy, feeling the emotion previously of seeing his dear relatives again.
He disembarked the baggage and rented a two-wheeled cart drawn by a horse to take him to Taormina. The highway was calm but had many curves between immense rocks and several plantations, sometimes making contour close to the sea, and then zigzagging into the valley, escaping from the depressions of the land and passing away from the abysses, crossing the hills, the sandy terrain, enjoying the beautiful and agreeable marine landscape.
Only if could hear the quick to trot of the horses and the driver’s voices and of Longinus, who curiously wanted to know about everything with regard to the friends, as well as, the events from the city. A great happiness involved him on the return to homeland.
Approaching of the city, some neighbors have seen him and have hurried in to greet him and to hug. It was an immense satisfaction to speak and hear from his city, after so much time. When he arrived to father's house, was replete of joy. And there, he sat at table with relatives and friends and between laughter and jokes, intermingling with many glass of the delicious wine of Mr. Francesco, they have gone alleviating the absence of the great time and updating the most important events that had happened during those five years that he was away. Of sudden, news of Juliana has arisen... Mr. Taglivine, the girl's father was passing through a very hard time in the business. He became sick of to work so much and being with health very weak, died. The wife and daughter sold the property and they have gone to Lycaonia, in the countryside. There they were living in Orlando Taglivine’s farm because he was Juliana's father's brother. They worked in to grow grapes and to produce wine.
Longinus stayed frustrated with the news, because he understood would not be able to meet Juliana now, and also he lamented profoundly the Anthony’s death Taglivine. They continued speaking on several subjects, and drinking a lot of wine, however, since that moment, the Longinus' heart began to sadden.
Amid chats and jokes the smile of Longinus went slowly fading in his lips, until he couldn't tolerate anymore. So, he got up, and with a banal excuse it left the house, went to meet at his father that was working in the fields.
It went a meeting agreeable, with the paternal kindness and full of joy. Father and son chatted for a long time, remembering facts and the unforgettable pranks, mocking a with another leaving both with many laughter, revealing the great love and affection that united them. Once ended the work for that day, they went back home.
At night in the bed, Longinus left the thoughts to fly. Slightly under alcohol influence, he tried to rearrange the plans, remembering the recent facts and the possible solutions for the future. He had received an authorization to be absent from work for 60 days. From Caesarea to Messina elapsed 25 days on that ship, naturally, it would take the same time for the turn; and also, the waiting time for the next embarkation to Caesarea should be taken into account because it would only to happen within 6 days, according to the information in Messina. Then, due to these events, he had to abandon the desire of to meet Juliana in this opportunity. So, figuring out the reality, he decided to live up this short time available of the best way possible, together of the relatives and friends.
On the day before return to Judea, he climbed up a hill, in front of the city. Up there pleasantly a permanent breeze blows in this time of the year. From the top of the hill a very charming landscape could be seen, the small houses most in white contrasting with the green from the fruit trees and of the vegetation. The mountains with notable variety of plantations they give different color to the landscape. In the right side the beautiful sea, calm and completely blue up to the horizon visual. The scenery composes a view comfortable that the mind it brings a powerful peace and it presents a precious wonder at the eyes of the heart.
The "sagun" (the red cape of the centurion) waved at the wind as if it were a flag being moved by the breeze. On top of the hill there were low vegetation, some trees, and stones block.
Longinus sat down onto one of the stones and continued enjoying of that beautiful vision, admiring the shape of the clouds, the incidence of the solar rays and wondered who had created all that... How these things were formed?
Of course no man and no matter the how much he is perfect, wise and intelligent. No man has anything with the world creation, because the people are also part of the created universe. But, then, who created everything?
This issue makes any person to think of how the life began...
And trying to think, letting the imagination run free the space, he arrived to the CREATOR'S presence. And then he understood that everything is GOD'S wonderful Work, replete of Kindness, of infinite Power and full of Mercy. HE created the humanity how a sign and a great demonstration of HIS DIVINE LOVE for us.
He felt then that it was the right moment to talk with GOD, to speak about him, telling his anguishes, the longings, the problems, and his weakness, although Longinus knew that HE The LORD, knew him very-well, that the words were not necessary to reveal his personality to GOD. Even so, he felt that it was the right moment to ask GOD for HIS Divine Mercy. Thus, he got up and said a supplicant prayer:
“LORD GOD almighty forgives my audacity. I don't know if is correct to speak to LORD this way. However, forgive me and please, hear my supplication. LORD, I confess that when I nailed my lance in JESUS' Body, I was accomplishing a soldier's mission; I didn't know HIM and didn't have any hate in my heart. Now I know that HE is YOUR DEAR SON, the SON OF GOD that came to save the world. For this, I beg pardon by my great offense. With humbleness I come supplicating the LORD'S Mercy and YOUR Great Love, even though consider that I don’t deserve any of the two graces. I invoke by the precious Blood that I helped to spill onto the Cross, in fact, now I know that it was spilled in benefit of all Humanity and, therefore, it was also spilled mercifully in benefit of my humble person. On second, I invoke by the terrible and cruel Passion that the LORD suffered, as a sign of obedience at the ETERNAL FATHER and as a sign of Immense Love to humanity of all generations and consequently, also for me. For these reasons, LORD, I beg pardon by all my sins, and I supplicate HIM to have pity of me, of my life, and of my poor soul”.
He lowered head and stayed in silence. With the shut eyes he thought in those last events important of his life.
Then he sat down, as if it went the last time, looking at that wonderful landscape, because he didn't want to forget that unforgettable vision.
When he decided to go back home,
of sudden, he looked the palm of his right hand! He stayed surprised! The red stain of
LORD’S blood had vanished, getting almost the same color of his own skin!
Joy illuminated his heart... He perceived that it was a "sign" from the CREATOR revealing that HE was satisfied with his behavior and with the interest by GOD'S issues. Deeply touched by the emotion, he looked at the sky, and replete of immense tenderness thanked LORD fervently.
Still with tears of gratitude in the eyes, he came down the hill and returned home.
On the following day he traveled to Jerusalem.
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