[quote="Holly3278, post:1, topic:334000"]
Who is the centurion in verse 54? Is that Saint Longinus, the centurion/soldier who pierced Jesus' side with a lance? Or is it a different centurion? If it is a different centurion, he clearly expressed belief in Jesus Christ. Did he go to on to become a saint?
'Longinus' is the (or rather a, since there are is at least one or two variants) name usually given to the soldier who pierced Jesus' side, yes.
In John's gospel it isn't really mentioned whether "one of the soldiers" who did it is the centurion who in the synoptics confesses Jesus as God's Son (although, in fairness, John doesn't mention the centurion at all). Given however the tendency amongst early Christians to conflate different minor characters in the Bible (Mary Magdalene is a famous case), sometimes you see 'Longinus' identified both as the soldier with the spear and the centurion.
In the 2nd century Gospel of Peter, the centurion in charge of the soldiers guarding Jesus' tomb is given the name Petronius. 'Longinus' as a named character meanwhile first appears in a 6th century work known as the Acta Pilati (Acts of Pilate). The Rabula Gospels (AD 586) is another early witness to the name: there it is spelled in Greek as Loginos.
Funny thing is, in an apocryphal Greek work sometimes appended to the Acta Pilati (The Letter of Herod to Pilate), Longinus is no saint. Instead, he is punished for his spearing Jesus in a way that kind of smells like Greek mythology: he is imprisoned in a cave where a lion comes every evening to maul him. When morning comes the lion leaves and his body regenerates, rinse and repeat until Doomsday.
Now concerning Longinus, the one who struck the side of Jesus with a spear: at this hour an angel of the Lord took him by his head and carried him across the Jordan to a wilderness place, and brought him further into the cave, and stretched him out on the ground in full view. And a lion was assigned to come forth at night and to destroy his body until dawn. The lion went away at dawn, and his body again became whole. This is the punishment he receives until the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Contradicting this portrait is another work (also Greek) which this time claims to be a letter from Pilate to Herod. Here Procla (Pilate's wife) and Longinus are both converted after personally meeting Jesus after the Resurrection. (For good measure, Pilate also becomes a Christian in this work as well.) Here Longinus is identified with the centurion:
Pilate, governor of Jerusalem, to Herod the tetrach, greetings.
Persuaded by you, I did a terrible thing on that day the Jews brought to me Jesus, the one who is called the Christ. They, along with the centurion, reported to me how he was crucified and arose from the dead on the third day. But I myself was persuaded to send messengers to Galilee. They saw him in the same flesh and in the same appearance; and he revealed himself in the same voice and with the same teaching to more than five hundred godly people, who as witnesses brought forth their testimony about this, expressing no doubts in the matter but preaching extensively the resurrection and declaring the eternal kingdom—so that the heavens and the earth appeared to rejoice at his holy teachings.
My own wife, Procla, came to believe because of the visions in which he appeared to her when I was about to hand him over to be crucified because of your advice. She left me, taking ten soldiers with her and Longinus, the faithful centurion, and went to catch sight of him—as if going to a great spectacle. They saw him seated in a plowed field, with a great crowd surrounding him; he was teaching the mighty works of the Father, so that all were amazed and astounded at how this one who suffered and was crucified was raised from the dead.
While everyone was watching and observing him, he became aware of their presence and spoke to them: “Do you still not believe in me, Procla and Longinus? Are you not the one who watched over my suffering and tomb? And you, woman, did you send a message to your husband about me? (…) the covenant the covenant of God that the Father made. Through my own death, which you have perceived, I will bring to life every fleshly being that has perished—I the one who was lifted up and suffered many things. Now, therefore, listen; every fleshly being who believes in God the Father and in me will not perish. For I have set loose the birth pangs of death and have slain the many-headed dragon. In my second coming that is about to occur, everyone will be raised in the body and mind that they now have, to praise my Father—I who was crucified under Pontius Pilate.”
When he said these things, my wife, Procla, heard them, along with the centurion Longinus, who had been entrusted to watch over the suffering of Jesus, and the soldiers who accompanied them. They all came, weeping and grieving, to proclaim these things to me.