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Blessed Anna Katharina Emmerick: The Centurion

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Detached Account of Abenadar (from the Dolorous Passion) On the 1st of April 1823, Sister Emmerich said that that day was the feast of St. Ctesiphon, the centurion who had assisted at the Crucifixion…More
Detached Account of Abenadar (from the Dolorous Passion)
On the 1st of April 1823, Sister Emmerich said that that day was the feast of St.
Ctesiphon, the centurion who had assisted at the Crucifixion, and that she had seen during
the night various particulars concerning his life. But she had also suffered greatly, which,
combined with exterior distractions, had caused her to forget the greatest part of what she
had seen. She related what follows:
Abenadar, afterwards called Ctesiphon, was born in a country situated between Babylon
and Egypt in Arabia Felix, to the right of the spot where Job dwelt during the latter half of
his life. A certain number of square houses, with flat roofs, were built there on a slight
ascent. There were many small trees growing on this spot, and incense and balm were
gathered there. I have been in Abenadar’s house, which was large and spacious, as might be
expected of a rich man’s house, but it was also very low. All these houses were built in this
manner, perhaps on account of the wind, because they were much exposed. Abenadar had
joined the garrison of the fortress Antonia, at Jerusalem, as a volunteer. He had entered the
Roman service for the purpose of enjoying more facilities in his study of the fine arts, for he
was a learned man. His character was firm, his figure short and thick-set, and his
complexion dark.
Abenadar was early convinced, by the doctrine which he heard Jesus preach, and by a
miracle which he saw him work; that salvation was to be found among the Jews, and he had
submitted to the law of Moses. Although not yet a disciple of our Lord, he bore him no illwill,
and held his person in secret veneration. He was naturally grave and composed, and
when he came to Golgotha to relieve guard, he kept order on all sides, and forced everybody
to behave at least with common decency, down to the moment when truth triumphed over
him, and he rendered public testimony to the Divinity of Jesus. Being a rich man, and a
volunteer, he had no difficulty in resigning his post at once. He assisted at the descent from
the Cross and the burial of our Lord, which put him into familiar connection with the
friends of Jesus, and after the day of Pentecost he was one of the first to receive baptism in
the Pool of Bethsaida, where he took the name of Ctesiphon. He had a brother living in
Arabia, to whom he related the miracles he had beheld, and who was thus called to the path
of salvation, came to Jerusalem, was baptised by the name of Cecilius, and was charged,
together with Ctesiphon, to assist the deacons in the newly-formed Christian community.
Ctesiphon accompanied the Apostle St. James the Greater into Spain, and also returned
with him. After a time, he was again sent into Spain by the Apostles, and carried there the
body of St. James, who had been martyred at Jerusalem.
He was made a bishop, and
resided chiefly in a sort of island or peninsula at no great distance from France, which he
also visited, and where he made some disciples. The name of the place where he lived was
rather like Vergui, and it was afterwards laid waste by an inundation. I do not remember
that Ctesiphon was ever martyred. He wrote several books containing details concerning the
Passion of Christ; but there have been some books falsely attributed to him, and others,
which were really from his pen, ascribed to different writers. Rome has since rejected these
books, the greatest part of which were apocryphal, but which nevertheless did contain some
few things really from his pen. One of the guards of our Lord’s sepulchre, who would not let
himself be bribed by the Jews, was his fellow countryman and friend. His name was
something like Sulei or Suleii. After being detained some time in prison, he retired into a
cavern of Mount Sinai, where he lived seven years. God bestowed many special graces upon
this man, and he wrote some very learned books in the style of Denis the Areopagite.
Another writer made use of his works, and in this manner some extracts from them have
come down to us. Everything concerning these facts was made known to me, as well as the
name of the book, but I have forgotten it. This countryman of Ctesiphon, afterwards
followed him into Spain. Among the companions of Ctesiphon in that country were this
brother Cecilius, and some other men, whose name were Intalecius, Hesicius, and
Euphrasius. Another Arab, called Sulima, was converted in the very early days of the
Church, and a fellow countryman of Ctesiphon, with a name like Sulensis, became a
Christian later, in the time of the deacons.
THE END.