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Centurio Epistula – Centurio Marcellus – October 30 298

Today the Order remembers Marcellus, the Christian centurion martyred for Christ. He found that he could not continue to serve Rome with its pagan gods, and to serve Jesus Christ. Fully aware of the consequences, he laid aside his sign of authority – the vine staff. He was beheaded for his actions. See more here

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Centurio Epistula - Simon and Jude

Today the Church remembers the Apostles Simon and Jude

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast built thy Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head cornerstone; Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

see readings and entire homily here

The Church is not about bricks and mortar in a physical sense, for they can certainly be destroyed, but the mystical Church will never be destroyed for the gates of Hell cannot prevail against her. Our belief is the essential and crucial element that shapes us and holds us together. In the Order of Centurions this belief is central to our discipline and devotion. It is expressed in the ancient Forma Romana Vetus that was given to us by the Apostles. We can never be defeated as long as we hold the faith. Today the faith is under serious attack from an increasingly secular and intolerant world that hates the Apostolic world vision. The most serious attack, however, comes from within the Body of Christ itself, and especially those who are charged specifically with guarding the faith... her bishops. What these errant bishops intend to pervert we must protect. That was the purpose for founding the Order, "to guard the simple Apostolic faith." I invite you to rehearse the Credo today as we remember Simon and Jude and our Apostolic Church:

Forma Roma Vetus - here

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Centurio Epistula - IHSV - 27 October 312
Today the Order pauses to remember the story of our Battle Cry. It was related by Eusebius xxviii, from what Constantine told him.

Jesus Christ gave the battle cry IN HOC SIGNO VINCES to Emperor Constantine on 27 October 312. As Constantine moved his legions toward Rome, he had a vision of a "cross of light" and the Greek words TOUTO NIKA (conquer by this) in the sky. That evening as he considered this sign, the Lord Jesus Christ came to him and told him to be at peace and conquer under His sign. The next day he carried a Labarum with the chi-rho encircled in a wreath atop of a gold-covered spear with cross and the battle cry inscribed upon a banner hanging from the cross. He met the pagan force much larger than his, defeated them, liberated Rome, and ended the persecutions of Christians.

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Centurio Epistula - Few are Chosen

"For many are called but few are chosen"

The lesson for the 20th Sunday after Trinity is from St. Matthew xxii. 1. Jesus told a parable of a wedding feast. In the parable, one who was invited to the marriage banquet did not come in his wedding-garment. He was expelled from the fellowship by the lord. What are the implications of this story for us today?

See the Scriptures and an homily here

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Centurio Epistula – James, Bishop of Jerusalem & Martyr – October 23

Almighty God, whose servant James exercised leadership and courage in the early Church, grant that thy bishops might guide us to keep and guard the historic faith as given to us by the Apostles; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

On October 23rd, the Church remembers James, the “brother” of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the 15th Chapter of Acts, James headed the council to consider the pleas of Paul and Barnabas; they did not want the Gentiles to have to come under the Mosaic Law in order to be in fellowship with the Church. James spoke for the council about setting minimum requirements for inclusion in the communion. There could be diversity about some things, but not all things.

In thinking of James and of current events, I cannot help but think of the Windsor Report issued on just a few days ago on 18 October
and the role that the Archbishop of Canterbury must now play with this fractured communion. Ironically, James addressed one issue that now confronts the Anglican Communion in that meeting in Jerusalem in 60 AD. James said, “That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication [Greek: PORNEIA] : from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”

Let us pray that all bishops, will display the same type of courage and leadership in doing what is right, and in disciplining the Church in charity, that James did. See Scripture and homily here

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Centurio Epistula - Spiritual Pilgrimage

Wednesdays and Fridays were days of fasting (abstinance) and special devotion at the time of the Centurions. The Church has continued this tradition in various forms.

One form of special devotion is Spiritual Pilgrimage. It was developed when Pilgrims could not visit the Holy Land. A fellow member of the Order of Centurions shared this web site of paitings with accompanying Scripture from the Cathedral of St. Luke. We have added a link to these Stations to our Chapel Devotion.

There are some stations that are based on tradition rather than
Scripture (# 6-Veronica, #3,7,9 Jesus falling three times, and #4-Jesus meeting his mother)

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land to visit the places where Jesus walked had its start in the Early Church. Later under Constantine it became very popular: Eusebius wrties,

That the Empress Helena, (1) Constantine's Mother, having visited this Locality for Devotional Purposes, built these Churches. For she, having resolved to discharge the duties of pious devotion to the God, the King of kings, and feeling it incumbent on her to render thanksgivings with prayers on behalf both of her own son, now so mighty an emperor, and of his sons, her own grandchildren, the divinely favored Caesars, though now advanced m years, yet gifted with no common degree of wisdom, had hastened with youthful alacrity to survey this venerable land; and at the same time to visit the eastern provinces, cities, and people, with a truly imperial solicitude. As soon, then, as she had rendered due reverence to the ground which the Saviour's feet had trodden, according to the prophetic word which says (2) "Let us worship at the place whereon his feet have stood," she immediately bequeathed the fruit of her piety to future generations. Eusebius: Life of Constantine CHAPTER XLII

There are alternate stations for devotion. One was said by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991 and is based on Scripture only

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Centurio Epistula - Just War Review

The article at the link gives a succinct review of the development of a theology of "Just War" through the ages.

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Centurio Epistula - St. Luke the Physician

ALMIGHTY God, who didst inspire thy servant Saint Luke the Physician, to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son; Manifest in thy Church the like power and love, to the healing of our bodies and our souls; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

2 Timothy iv. 5 & St. Luke x. 1

If you are unable to celebrate this Feast day with a Eucharist among fellow Christians, you may like to visit the Chapel of the Centurion for Spiritual Communion.

Luke was an evangelist, physician, a Gentile and a companion of Paul. He wrote the Gospel of Luke and Acts in Greek. Luke alone, in his Gospel, provides us with the story of the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity in the Manger & Angelic Host, Circumcision, Presentation, and visitation of the Magi. Many of these events are celebrated in the Church. From Luke we have the Song of Mary and the Song of Simeon that are sung daily in the Church, and the words of the rosary - Hail Mary. His Gospel contains six miracles and eighteen parables not recorded in the other three Gospels.

In the Book of Acts we have the major feast of Pentecost. We also have the stories of Centurion Cornelius the Italian Cohort, and Centurion Julius of the Augustan Cohort who emerge from the pages of Acts as virtuous men: Cornelius to become the first Baptized Christian and Julius to protect the life of Luke from the frightened soldiers during a storm at sea. Luke's writings give us the stories of all four of the Centurions.

Luke wrote in the first person in Acts. He was with Paul during the voyage to Rome, and endured the hardships with him on his missionary journeys. Acts closes with Paul in house-arrest at Rome and we hear no more of Luke. Tradition has it that he wrote his Gospel in Greece and died in Boeotia. Constantine had his relics brought from Boeotia to Constantinople so that pilgrims could venerate them.

Those interested in Christian healing might like to visit the Order of St. Luke.

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Centurio Epistula - Crusades History

Thomas Madden, Chair of the Department of History at St Louis University, offers here a brief history of the Crusades

Recently we have paused to remember several "centurions" who fought in the Crusades including Hugo and Gerard. It is helpful to understand the nature of these events in looking at these Christians who distinguished themselves.

Madden writes,

That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense

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Gérard Tonque Lagleder – 1120
Founder and Warden of the hospice at Jerusalem and the Order of St. John

Gerard founded the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John. Today the Order celebrates a commemorative feast for their founder. He provided care for wounded in Jarusalem during the first Crusade in 1099. The members promised to be “servants and slaves to our Lords, the sick”

Let us pray:
O God, who exalted blessed Gérard because of his care for the poor and the sick, and through him founded in Jerusalem the Order of St. John the Baptist, give us the grace of seeing, as he did, the image of your Son in our brothers and sisters. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit One God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Read more about Gérard here:

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Centurio Epistula - Compassion

Secularist compassion is not authentic compassion. It is merely theChristian understanding of compassion radically misapplied. Authentic compassion prohibits the killing of innocents [the unborn]; it cannotbe rightfully understood apart from the commandment not to kill. Infact, the violation of the sixth commandment reveals that most of the secularist vision is non-Christian.

See the entire article here:Casualties of the Culture War: Orthodoxy and Morality in the PublicArena

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Centurio Epistula - Hugh, Knight & Chaplain 8 October

Today the Church and Order remembers Hugo (Ugo), Knight & Chaplain to the Military Order of St. John

The Collect for the Order of Malta for Hugh is given here:

O God, who gave to St. Hugh power to heal the sick by the sign of the cross, give us the spirit of your own love, to serve you in our sick brothers and sisters. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The following site tells the full story with many illustrations

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Centurio Epistula - Centurions Sergius & Bacehus

Let us remember these Centurions who went before us, and were slain for their fidelity to Christ, and who will be raised up to rule with our Lord in the first resurrection [Rev 20:4-20:6]

Feastday: October 7 [303AD]

"Roman martyrs. According to legend, they were officers in the legions of co-Emperor Maximian in Syria who refused to enter the temple of Jupiter or to make sacrifices to the gods. For their crimes, they were dressed in women’s clothing and led through the streets of Arabissus before being sent to die in Mesopotamia. Bacehus was flogged to death, and Sergius was scourged and beheaded. ... "


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Centurio Epistula - Witness and Apology

In the Order's Purpose, we hope to emulate the Centurions in witnessing Christ. When challenged, sometimes the words fail us, and so it is good to equip ourselves with knowledge and tools to defend and explain on our beliefs and hope. Christian apology has been offered throughout the ages, and it is good that we may avail ourselves to contemporary writings.

Robert E. Meyer in this article entitled Atheism and Unalienable Rights explores the contradictions that arise when atheists claim "rights". I recommend it to you.

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Francis - Knight of Assisi

Today many in the Church pause to remember Francis of Assisi. He is one of the most popular saints. Many do not know of his desire for military glory. Here is an excerpt from a biograpy on St Francis by Ashley McFadden

Francis always felt he was destined for greatness. He thought at first it was through knighthood, chivalry and marching off to wars in a suit of armor too heavy for his fragile and slender body. He tried this approach, going to a war that broke out in Perugia in 1200. Leaving Assisi, he soon he found himself caught and thrown in prison along with other young men who only a few days before had thought life was for pleasure and fun. It was a harsh awakening in the cold and freezing bottom of a dungeon.

Francis had health problems since childhood and must have suffered greatly from the stinging cold, and yet he remained cheerful in spite of the chains around his ankles and wrists. The others became annoyed by his good humor under such horrible circumstances and asked him why he was so happy. Celano says his answer was this: "I rejoice because some day I shall be venerated as a saint all over the world." This from the lips of a man who to this point had not lived a saintly life, yet it shows the conversion coming upon him in sudden spurts and starts. After a year in prison, Francis, who had become extremely ill, was released and returned home at the age of twenty-two. His youth was gone.
Francis would not experience his conversion until the age of twenty-six and so he had a few years to keep God waiting. He recuperated from his captivity under constant care and when he was well, he dreamed still of military glory and chivalry. He managed to spend his father's money on the expensive armor, horse and all the paraphernalia necessary for a grand departure in honor of Christendom and the fourth crusade. Barely able to hold himself up under the heavy armor, he hit the road. It was a short journey. A voice came to him one night that told him to return home where he was born and that he would be told later what to do.

In the Order on our Purpose page we quote Francis who said, "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary use words."

Today would be a good time to sing Francis' Canticle to Brother Sun:
Most High, all-powerful, good Lord, Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor, and all blessing. To You alone, Most High, do they belong, and no man is worthy to mention Your name.
Praised be You, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day and through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor; and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, in heaven Your formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind, and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather through which You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praise be You, my Lord, through Sister Water, which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be Your, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love and bear infirmity and tribulation. Blessed are those who endure in peace for You, Most High, they shall be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no living man can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will, for the second death shall do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility.

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Web Site Back Up & Changes is working on line again
I don't expect any other problems. However, we'll keep a site at as well as an alternate.

We've added a Roman Catholic site to the Chapel Daily Devotions and Chapel Eucharist. The site has the daily readings from the Roman Catholic Lectionary plus a lot more. It has also been added to the links page.

We added a prayer link to the section for petitions and intercessions on the Chapel site. It will take you to the Jesuits in Ireland at Sacred Space. "Your request for prayer will be also transferred electronically to a group of five monks of the Benedictine Congregation of St. Mary of Monte-Oliveto, who have established a monastic presence in Rostrevor, Co.Down, Northern Ireland.During their times of silent prayer and meditation and their main liturgical celebrations of morning and evening prayer, the Monks have generously offered to pray for the intentions of those who make requests through this website. We thank them on your behalf. Please remember the monks in your prayers also."

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Centurio Epistula – Inclusive Language

A little over twenty years ago Father Paul Tarazi wrote "An Orthodox Christian Response to the Inclusive Language Lectionary " at this link at the Orthodox Research Institute.

In the Order of Centurions we use the ancient liturgies to model our Chapel Eucharist and Daily Devotional and they are as they were written [translated], with the male gender used in referring to all of mankind, and always for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Father Tarazi warned readers then how the new inclusive language could affect the Church. He disapproved strongly of rewriting the Scripture to accommodate the feminist political and social movement. In his paper, he also spoke of the debates at that time concerning homosexuality. Today most national churches of the Anglican Communion and all of Orthodoxy and Catholicism are out of sorts with the Episcopal Church of the United States over the ordination of a homosexual bishop, and the blessing of same-sex unions. The ECUSA adopted the inclusive-language NRSV about 20 years ago. I attended several services where an ECUSA priest or priestess would use inclusive language in the liturgies and sermons. One must wonder if the feminization, or neutering, of liturgies, the Scripture, and the proclamation from the pulpit affected Christians. Has it led to some sort of blurring of the understanding of sexuality in God’s creation and our understanding of God? Father Tarazi’s paper appears prophetic today, and I commend it to you.


Centurio Epistula - Humble Access

In the Gospel lesson for the 17th Sunday after Trinity Jesus said, "whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" [Luke 14:11]

In these words we are reminded of the Centurion of Capernaum when he
said to the Lord that he was not worthy to have him come under his roof, but that if Jesus would only say the word, the Centurion's servant, who was near death, would be healed. Jesus marveled at the faith of the Centurion.

We also recognize that the Centurion knew who Jesus was, and rightly humbled himself before him. Just as we wish to emulate the faith of the Centurion of Capernaum, we should also emulate his humbleness before our God. Jesus said in today's gospel that the host of the feast would call the humble guest forward to a seat of honor. That day in Capernaum, Jesus implied that the Centurion would feast with Abraham at his Father's table when he said, "Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven".

In the Anglican traditon there is a prayer of Humble Access that
captures these ideas and traditons,

"We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen. "

Visit the Internet Chapel of the Centurions to see the entire homily
from the Order of Centurions.

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Alternate Order Website
Our primary site has been down for a couple of days. Until we return to full service you may access most features of the Order's alternate site at