Throwback Thursday: The bogus “Holy Lance of Saint Longinus”

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on March 13, 2016 and has been revised.


I was watching an episode of “The Borgias” on Netflix the other day and a reference was made to
the “Holy Lance of Saint Longinus,” which sparked my curiosity.

During the Middle Ages, prelates of the increasingly institutionalized Roman Catholic church competed with each other to stock their respective cathedrals with famous relics connected to the New Testament. There were churches claiming to have splinters of Jesus’s cross, thorns from His crown, vials of His blood, and even His infant foreskin. Great powers were attributed to these relics and credulous pilgrims from all over Europe flocked to see them and to receive hoped-for healings and blessings.

One of the more famous relics to appear was the “Holy Lance of Saint Longinus.” Catholic tradition has it that Longinus (Latin: from longus, “long,” as in “long lance.” Original, huh?) was the Roman soldier who pierced the side of the crucified Jesus’ body with a lance to verify His death (see John 19:31-37) and who purportedly converted to Christianity. See here for more information. The Vatican claims to possess the alleged “Holy Lance,” which is stored within the north-eastern pillar under the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica. The history of that artifact can be traced back only as far as the 6th century. But like all of the alleged relics associated with Christ, there are several other versions in existence, each one claimed to be the original by its possessor. The most famous competitor of the Vatican lance is the “Holy Lance” currently on display at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, which was used in the coronation ceremonies of several of the Holy Roman Emperors.

This is all sheer nonsense my friends. The Roman soldier who lanced the body of Jesus was not named Longinus. The “Holy Lance” in the Vatican is a fake as are all of the other alleged “relics” associated with Jesus. The institutionalized church turned simple, saving faith in Jesus Christ into superstition and idolatrous worship of physical objects.

Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone and come out of superstition and gross fraud. Seek an evangelical church in your area that preaches God’s Word without compromise and worships the Lord in spirit and in truth.

“(Hezekiah) removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.” – 2 Kings 18:4

32 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: The bogus “Holy Lance of Saint Longinus”

      1. You’re welcome, Mandy! We have to help each other navigate the waters because there’s a lot of flotsam and jetsam out there (where else can a landlubber use “flotsam and jetsam” besides blogging?)
        Thank you and Merry Christmas Eve to you and Nathan! Love in Christ!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amen to helping each other navigate the waters! Yesterday was my first and last experience! Forewarned is forearmed! Nathan and Mama Rose (my mom) are BEYOND thankful for you talking me off the ledge! Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a great gift you and Corinne are! Do y’all have any plans for Christmas Eve? We will go to the church building for service or do online and then listen to music and watch the Christmas Light Fight show. Love and blessings!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you, Mandy, and we appreciate you guys! I hope you have an enjoyable Christmas Eve! Corinne is still shopping and then will be wrapping presents until 2 a.m. but we’ll listen to a sermon after dinner. Enjoy and love and blessings to you!!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Answering your question: I just got duck and smoked pork for our family get together with my side of the family! Will be hectic here next two days! Driving home with the meal now will read later when I’m not driving

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yup, silly baseless tradition. Nope, they definitely didn’t put a lot of thought into the bogus name. There’s also St. Veronica who purportedly wiped Jesus’ face as he walked to Golgotha, and his face image was “miraculously” transferred to the cloth. Veronica in Latin means “true image.”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, I can’t imagine how you will feel, Tom, if you will see the local news every first 2 weeks of the year, and during the feast of the sto. niño. These statues were not relics from CHRIST time but have the same effect with it’s millions of pilgrims, either walking or dancing. Were it not for grace. Merry CHRISTmas to you and Corinne! GOD bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kent. I was unaware of this popular devotion to Santo Niño de Cebú in the Philippines. It’s interesting how distinct cults devoted to a particular statue of the “Christ child” arose in various nations/regions. I’m not aware of such a cult originating in the U.S. (due no doubt to the influence of Protestantism) but the “Infant Jesus of Prague” cult does have a following among Catholics here.

      Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right, Tom! It is global and reading on your 2018 article, I’m informed that the original is taller at 19″ than what I’ve seen on TV. True, it is a cult with all the costume dancing performances (in an annual competition) you can associate with animism and paganism. Now, many Catholic households in the country have smaller version of the statue. And there are those who placed this beside statues of a money frog, a lucky cat (maneki-neko), and buddha.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Crissy. Yup, even a very quick study of this lance would be enough to convince an objective person of its inauthenticity. And there are collectively thousands of such articles in Catholic churches throughout Europe. Many Catholics (including clergy) admit the items are “probably” spurious, but give a wink and carry on.
      Yes, we had a very nice Christmas yesterday, thank you! I hope you had a blessed Christmas as well! Our oldest son and his family came over for a couple of hours and we exchanged presents, but we all wore masks and forwent the usual big dinner at the dining room table. The Lord gave us an opportunity to mention and praise Jesus as the reason for the day. We also had a nice phone call with our youngest son stationed in Florida and got a chance to speak to his new serious girlfriend for the first time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We also had restrictions placed upon us a few days before Christmas. My son and his family were not able to join us due to the restrictions. I was disappointed but grateful for what I did have .
        Keep safe

        Liked by 1 person

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