Cornelius was a Roman centurion whose story is told in Acts 10. He was one of the first Gentiles (non-Jew) to become a follower of Jesus.
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F. Bechtel, Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908:
- The baptism of Cornelius is an important event in the history of the Early Church. The gates of the Church, within which thus far only those who were circumcised and observed the Law of Moses had been admitted, were now thrown open to the uncircumcised Gentiles without the obligation of submitting to the Jewish ceremonial laws.