2012-09-08-Stefan's Story-A Roman Soldier Finds Jesus
Topic: Stefan, Story of a Legionnaire
Teacher: Thought Adjuster
TR: Felix Caro
- SOLDIER OF CHRIST IN BRITANNIA (STEPHAN THE LEGIONARY) - A SHORT STORY
"Salve frater”. Here is a small story on who I am, where I came from and how I lived. I was born at the beginning of the reign of Nero, in the year 54 AD, in what was known at the time as the Italian province of Campania, in the city of Capua. I was the son of a wine merchant, who in turn was the son of a freed servant of Greek origin, which explains the origin of my name, Stephan (Stephanos), even though I was born a Roman citizen. In my youth, I followed my father around when he did business, mostly in Italia, Gaul and Germania. So that’s where I learned a thing or two on how to run a business. I and everybody in my family, was fluent in Greek and Latin, languages which were more than enough to communicate and to do business during those times.
As a young lad, I was fascinated by the exploits of the Roman legions, especially in the province of Britannia, first under Julius Caesar, and then under Aulus Plautius during the reign of emperor Claudius. And so, I decided than when I was old enough I would join the legions in order to give my life some excitement and in order to be able to visit province of Britannia.
When I turned 18 years old, in 72 AD, I joined the legions, during the reign of emperor Vespasianus. By the next year I was already in Britannia in Eboracum, known today as York, where LEGIO IX HISPANIA, had its headquarters. From there, cohorts were periodically dispatched, here and there, to maintain order and to put down the occasional demonstrations of discontent that the locals put up. Many of those troublesome locals were unhappy veterans of the failed Boudicca’s revolt. There were veterans of that revolt in LEGIO IX that had really strong bad sentiments towards the locals. The centurion of our century, the 4th of the 3rd cohort, Marcus Verennus, was a very vicious veteran of those revolts and committed many atrocities with the locals. I was forced to be a witness and even participate in a few of them, which started to stain my vision of military service. Like many of your veterans indicate today, I also stated that “I did not sign-up for this”, there most be a more fitting way to serve a higher cause.
Those actions moved me to look for something to appease my inner confusion and pain, and so, in one of my sightseeing days in Eboracum, while looking for business opportunities for my father and business ideas for myself in the future, I met with two fine young fellows that happened to be Greek merchants. We made very good friends and became comfortable talking amongst ourselves about our private lives and what made us “tick”. After talking about my inner confusion with them, they introduced me to the Carpenter’s of Nazareth’s teaching’s, our glorious Lord’s, and that provided me with the spiritual medicine that I needed to be able to put up with my centurion’s viciousness, as well as the ignorance and banality that surrounded me during those times. The spiritual refreshment that I obtained from those teachings could not have been compared with the greatest Roman wine when feeling the greatest of thirsts. From that glorious day and onwards, I sought to find spiritual meaning in every activity that I performed daily, and sought opportunities to show the mercy of the Carpenter of Nazareth, as well as his love and understanding of his creatures.
I was very good friends with a fellow Roman legionary, Flavius, which was of Germanic origin and also a Roman citizen, and he also quickly embraced the Carpenter’s teachings. Obviously, we could not discuss our new found spiritual revival while in the fort or in the presence of our centurion, who would have had us immediately go thru the “castigatio” process and later crucified should he have known of our beliefs. As much as we could, me and Flavius visited with the Greek merchants in Eboracum to continue learning about Jesus of Nazareth. We were fascinated by the great works that He performed while in the flesh, His extreme resilience to abuse and His infinite mercy and love towards His tormentors. We ended up convincing two other legionaries, from different centuries but under the same LEGIO, to join us in our discussions about the Carpenter and His teachings. We became soldier’s of Christ and we served our Lord even long after we retired from military service. We all became Christians.
As many legionaries stationed in Britannia did, I ended up marrying a fine local young lady, which I gave the nickname of “Coeli” (Heaven) as she was indeed a very loving lady. Lucky for me, she also was captivated by the Carpenter’s teachings, which she was faithful to for the rest of her days. We had two sons, which I made sure had nothing to do with the legions other than sell them goods, and which became merchants and helped me with my business activities after I left military service. My sons, in time, also worked to spread Jesus of Nazareth’s teachings in Britannia. I retired from military service after 25 years, as the TESSERARIUS of my century, in the year 97 AD, under the reign of emperor Nerva.
Me and my wife lived happily together until the end of our days. On the day of my death, in 124 AD (during the reign of emperor Hadrianus), I left this world with my eyes closed but with my heart wide open, and with a peaceful smile on my face. When I woke up in Mansonia, I was given the surprise of the ages when I encountered many long gone friends and relatives, even Flavius, who had died in a skirmish with a band of Celtic warriors somewhere North of Eboracum. That was the happiest and most glorious day of my existence in the creation of our Universal Father. That experience was only surpassed when I personally met the Carpenter of Nazareth! What a day that was! Me and my friend Flavius now serve Him here in Salvington. We are looking forward to the great adventures beyond this local universe, beyond this superuniverse, beyond Havona and all the way to Paradise, to be in the presence of our Emperor of ALL Creation, the eternal God Himself!