Saint Cornelius: The Iconography

In Caesarea in Palestine, St. Cornelius the Centurion. Blessed Peter the Apostle baptized him and raised him to the honor of the bishopric of the aforesaid city. – Roman Martyrology for February 2

In Acts 10 Cornelius is the Roman soldier in Caesarea who becomes the first Gentile Christian. When Peter comes to Caesarea, St. Cornelius mis­takenly kneels before him, so we see this gesture in narra­tive re­pre­sen­tations (example), although Peter immedi­ately tells him to get up be­cause "I myself am also a man." St. Cor­nelius kneels again in Tre­visani's painting of his sub­se­quent baptism by Peter.

Feast Days:

  • Roman Catholic: February 2
  • Orthodox: September 13
  • Episcopalian: February 7

Prepared in 2014 by Richard Stracke, Emeritus Professor of English, Augusta University, revised 2015-10-20.


Detail from the St. Cornelius Window at the former Episcopalian military chapel on Governor’s Island, New York (See the description page)

With two other military saints, George and Martin of Tours (See the description page)


  • Life of St. Cornelius in Migne's text of Metaphrastes, CXIV, 1287-1312.