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Good afternoon, my dear friends and readers! I am very proud today, on the eve of the Holy Feast of Nativity of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World, to release the last issue of your favourite magazine in this year, which deals with the topic of Saints Constantine and Helen, the first Christian emperors. As you probably know, they made a huge contribution towards the spread of Christianity across the world. They are therefore called 'Equal to the Apostles'. I hope that you will love this new edition and please give your feedback to it in order me to know how I can improve it further. Thank you in advance! My next post will be somewhere around the middle of January! I wish you a Merry Nativity Feast and take care of yourself! All the best!

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Published by marius.constantin.popa, 2018-12-16 06:46:46

Translations Magazine - Decembrie 2018

Good afternoon, my dear friends and readers! I am very proud today, on the eve of the Holy Feast of Nativity of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World, to release the last issue of your favourite magazine in this year, which deals with the topic of Saints Constantine and Helen, the first Christian emperors. As you probably know, they made a huge contribution towards the spread of Christianity across the world. They are therefore called 'Equal to the Apostles'. I hope that you will love this new edition and please give your feedback to it in order me to know how I can improve it further. Thank you in advance! My next post will be somewhere around the middle of January! I wish you a Merry Nativity Feast and take care of yourself! All the best!

Keywords: saints,constantine,helen,translations,magazine,december 2018

Editor and translator: Marius-Constantin Popa

TRANSLATIONS

VOLUME3*ISSUERELEASEDINDECEMBER2018

TheHolyEmperors
ConstantineandHelen



RELIGION

SAINTS CONSTANTINE AND HELEN, THE
FIRST CHRISTIAN EMPERORS

Emperor Constantine the Great was the first Christian Roman emperor. By convert-
ing to Christianity, he promoted the Christian faith throughout the Roman Empire.
The laws issued on the advice of his mother, Helen, contributed to the spread of
Christianity. Empress Helen is known especially due to the fact that she found the
cross on which Christ had been crucified.

ThroughoutthehistoryofChristianity,thereexistedveryimportantevents,whoprot-
agonistswerenotablepersonalities.Posteritywouldrememberthem notonlyforthe
imagethattheycreatedassomepeoplewhohadbeenchosenbyGodorassome
saintsorthefruitofalifefulloftoilandfaith,butalsofortheiruniqueachievements,due
towhichmanyofthecommunitiesofpeoplefrom differentplacesontheEarthexist
nowadaysaswell.

The son of a Christian emperor

SaintConstantinetheGreatwasbornon27th February272inthecitadelofNaissus
(present-dayNiš,Serbia),situatedintheRomanprovinceofMoesiaSuperior(knownin
EnglishasUpperMoesia),intoafamilyofimperialdescent,from Christianparents.His
father,ConstantiusChlorus,heldthepositionofgeneralatthattime,buthewouldlater
ascendthethroneas‘caesar’oftheWesternprovinceswithintheRomanEmpire.The
form ofleadershipoftheRomanEmpirewasthenbasedontetrarchy,butthefightfor
primacyledmanytimestoconflictsamongthefourrulers,thefirsttwoonesbearingthe
title‘Augustus’,andtheothertwoonesbearingthetitle‘Caesar’.Onesuchconflictwasalso
thebedrockofthecomingofConstantinetheGreattopower.Proclaimedbythearmyas
emperorafterthedeathofhisfatherin304,inYork,Britain,andhiselectionascaesarof
Galerius,acommandingpersonalityoftetrarchy,ConstantinetheGreatwasofficiallyre-
cognised inhispositionattheconferenceheldinCarnuntum on11thNovember308.He
thuscameintoconflictwithMaxentius,thesonofformerEmperorMaximian,whomade
apretenceatholdingthepositionheldbyConstantine.

‘In hoc signo vinces’ (‘In this sign you will conquer’)

EnteringwithhisarmyintoItaly,ConstantineconqueredthecitadelsofTurinandVerona,
thedecisivebattleagainstMaxentiushavingtobefoughtatPonsMilvius(translatedinto
Englishas‘theMilvianBridge’),nearancientRome.EusebiusofCaesarea,ahistorianof

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Christianityandacontemporaryofthegreatemperor,towhom heoftengaveadvice,re-
cordedthemiraclethatoccurredontheeveofthebattlefoughton28thOctober312.Wor-
riedabouttheslightchancesthathisarmynumberingonly20,000soldierswoulddefeat
the150,000soldiersofMaxentius,Constantinesawastronglightandabrightcrossonthe
skythatboretheinscription‘Inhocsignovinces’(translatedintoEnglishas‘Inthissign
youwillconquer’).ThewonderwasalsonarratedbyLactantius,who,togetherwithEuse-
biusofCaesarea,relatedthedream thatConstantinehadhadduringthatnight,inwhich
Christhadappearedtohim andorderedhim toplacethesignofthecrossontheflagsof
hisarmy.Thesign,whichthearmyofConstantineboreontheirflagssincethen,was
called‘labarum’.ThegreatvictorywonbyConstantinewentdowninhistoryasthedecis-
ivemomentfrom thelifeoftheemperor,whichtheArchofTriumphfrom Romerelates
asanact‘instinctudivinitas’(translatedas‘underdivineinspiration’).

The edict of liberation

CometopowertogetherwithLicinius,hisbrother-in-law,Constantinetookthefirstmeas-
uresfordefendingChristianity,persecutedatthattimebythepaganemperors,whohad

The Edict of Milan, issued by Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor of
the Roman Empire

considereditaforbiddenillegalreligion.ThegreatestaccomplishmentofEmperorCon-
stantineinthisrespectwasthefamousEdictofMilan(knownintheLatinlanguageas
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RELIGION

‘Edictum Mediolanum’),issuedin313togetherwithLicinius,throughwhichChristianity
wasrecognisedbythestate.Itdoesnotmean,however,thattheChristianreligionbecame
astatereligion aswell.Itbecameastatereligion onlyduringthereign ofEmperor
TheodosiustheGreat(379-395).TheEdictofMilan,however,representedthefirstofficial
recognitionofChristianity,thefirstofficialdocumentthatencouragedthebeliefinChrist.

Advised by his mother, Helen

HecarriedonallhisactivitiesasaChristianemperorbyfollowingtheadvicegivenbyhis
mother,Helen,whowasknownforherfaithandwisdom.Bothherpersonalityandthe
holylifethatsheledmadeConstantinelistentoherthroughouthisreign.Theemperoris-

Holy Roman Emperor Constantine and his mother Helen

suedlawsthatwereveryeasyandfavourabletoChristians,throughwhichheliftedthe
punishmentsthatwerecontrarytoChristianprinciples,suchascrucifixion,burningat
thestakeorcrushinglegs.In321,hefixedSundayasthedayofrestandorderedthat
Christiansoldiersshouldattendtheliturgicalservicesofficiatedonthatday.In317,heis-
suedcoinswithChristiansignsandbuiltorrestoredcountlesschurchesfrom Jerusalem,
Rome,AntiochorTyr.

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The First Ecumenical Council

Anothernotableaccomplishmentofthegreatemperorwasrepresentedbythecallingof
theFirstEcumenicalCouncil.Thegatheringofthebishopsfrom theentireChristian
worldatthattimetookplaceintheyear325,inNicaea,inordertofightagainsttheheresy
ofArius,whoassertedthatJesusChristwasnottheSonofGod,havingadivinenature,
butHewasthefirstcreatureoftheFatherandHeshouldhavebeenthereforeregardedas
anordinaryman.Inaddition,duringthesamecouncil,the318bishopsfixedthedateon
whichPaschashouldhavebeencelebratedandcomposedthefirstarticlesfrom theSym-
bolofFaith.Theemperorhimselfparticipatedinthemeetingsofthecouncilandwasim-
pressedbytheholinessandwisdom ofSaintSpyridon,thekindnessofSaintNicholasor
thescholarshipofAthanasiustheGreat.ItissaidthatwhenOssiusofCordubaread,atthe
endofthecouncil,theSymbolofFaithforthefirsttime,ConstantinetheGreatsaid:‘Yes,
thisisthetruth.Iam notatheologian,butIfeelthathereisthetruth.Iam convincedthat
youdidnotdoit,butGodWhoworkedwithyou’.

The monogram of Christ

Theletters‘X’and‘P’arethefirstonesfrom thename‘Christ’translatedintotheGreek
language.Theselettersareusedinordertodesignatethemonogram ofChristortheso-
called‘Chrismon’or‘Labarum’.Therehavebeenusedasfarbackastheprimaryperiodof
theChurchasaChristiansymbol.WhenConstantinetheGreattriedtogainthetitleofRo-
manemperor,heusedthesesignsonhisarmsanddefeatedthearmyofMaxentius.Ac-
cordingtoEusebiusofCaesarea,thisoldChristiansymbolwasmadeofagoldensword,
withatransversebarthatformedacross.Abovethem therewasplacedagoldencrown
withpreciousstones.Ontheinside,therewasplacedthesymbolofthenameoftheSa-
viour,namelytwolettersshowingthenameofChrist,inotherwordstwoinitials,thelet-
ter‘P’crossedbytheletter‘X’inthemiddle.

The discovery of the cross on which Christ was crucified

AftertheFirstEcumenicalCouncilcametoanend,EmperorConstantinetheGreatde-
terminedthatadelegationheadedbyhismother,Helen,shouldgotoJerusalem inorder
tofindthecrossonwhichChristhadbeencrucified.GoingtotheHolyLand,SaintHelen
foundthecross,concealedbyChristianbelievers,closetoothertwocrossed,presumedto
belongtothetwoplunderers.InordertofindoutwhichwasthecrossonwhichtheSonof
Godhadbeencrucified,theempressdeterminedthatsomebodywhohadpassedaway
latelyshouldhavebeentouchedbythecrosses.Whenthedeadbodywastouchedbyone
ofthecrosses,thepersonreturnedtolife.Itwastheundeniableproofthatthecrosshad
belongedtoChrist.Thecrowdofpeoplewhohadgatheredtherestartedtoshoutandask
theEmpresstobeabletotouchthecross.Then,BishopMacariusIofJerusalem tookthe
crossandexalteditinfrontofthecrowd,whoshoutedinchorus:‘God,havemercyonus!’.
Theseeventstookplaceon14thSeptember326andtheFeastofExaltationoftheCrosshas
beenincludedintheChristiancalendar.

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Byzantium, the cradle of Eastern Christian civilisation

FollowingthecivilwarbetweenConstantineandLicinius,whichendedinthevictorywon
bythefirstone,atCibalaein316,theRomanEmpirewasruledbyoneemperor.Eagerto
createacivilisationthathadtobebasedontheprinciplesofChristianity,Constantinethe

Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen

GreatmovedthecapitaloftheempiretothecitadelofByzantion,whichwouldbecome,as
of11thMay330,thecityofConstantinople.There,theemperorbuiltacitythatwasunique
throughouthistorythroughitswealthandmonuments.Theemperorswhosucceededhim
tothethronecontributedtothebeautificationofthecity,whichrepresentedthecradleof
Christiancivilisationfor11centuries.ThebishopsofConstantinopleplayedadecisive
roleinthehistoryoftheChurch,beingequaltotheonesfrom Rome,throughtheThird
Canon oftheSecond EcumenicalCouncilheld in Constantinoplein 381.The‘Holy
Apostles’Churchfrom Constantinopleisoneofthegreatestaccomplishmentsoftheem-
peror.Hewasburiedherein337,onlyseveraldaysafterhehadreceivedBaptism.
REFERENCES
Theoriginalarticlewaspublishedin‘Lumina’newspaperonMonday,21stMay2007.

10 TRANSLATIONS|DECEMBER2018




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