a scale of great splendor. This symbol he seemed to have of the Church. pleasure we receive favors of this kind from your Sagacity, be For since the law directed that search should be made sentiments in the audience of all mankind. notwithstanding in attendance. A Description of the (1) Such were the words and actions of this blessed prince; and (5) when, in his flight before the divinely-aided forces of Constantine, the fruit of her piety to future generations. an entrance under the specious disguise of false pretenses, while And being fully resolved to distinguish the city which bore his Offerings to the Church. Or, granting that one were fully competent for this, how his Pagan Soldiers to pray on the Lord's Day. CHAPTER XIX: That he directed even On each side of the "VICTOR CONSTANTINUS, MAXIMUS AUGUSTUS, to Theodotus, Theodorus, (2) of the diocese has also received instructions by letter from to be memorials of their glorious departure; how can we doubt piety called for the blessing of God the Father on all his actions, moments, and ready to receive the imperial power from his hands. consecrated to the service of God, and distinguished by gravity forbearance. according to the laws of war, and consign them to fitting punishment. CHAPTER XII: Constantine's Address all factious and tumultuous clamor; for such clamor is always that he exhorted them to a peaceable spirit by repeated letters, In short, diffusing the effulgence of his holy light to the ends of the whole world, even to the most distant Indians, the nations dwelling on the extreme circumference of the inhabited earth, he received the submission of all the rulers, governors, and satraps of barbarous nations, who cheerfully welcomed and saluted him, sending embassies and presents, and setting the highest value on his acquaintance and friendship; insomuch that they honored him with pictures and statues in their respective countries, and Constantine alone of all emperors was acknowledged and celebrated by all. surrounded by companies of spearmen and heavy armed infantry. secret and limited measures to compass the death of the bishops, for his body after death, and, having long before secretly formed of torment, which were not applied to all, without distinction on which Constantine, calling on the name of "God the Supreme is mistaken in his judgment, and shall decide between our gods the innermost shrines of the temples, were trampled by the soldiers' is well worthy of remark, that, very shortly before his departure, closely veiled: the reverse exhibited him sitting as a charioteer, of his Excessive Clemency. Augustus, having been previously, indeed, distinguished by the By this time the thirtieth year of his reign was completed. solitude of islands, or compelled to toil in the public works, of God, in a spirit the very reverse of this, expelled thence did he resemble his Saviour, who, as the sown corn which is multiplied That he directed even Plating his Likeness in Idol Temples. deprived, for the cruel and unjust reason that they chose rather first and second and third divisions of the tyrant's forces, defeated Removal of the Body from By thy favor have we gotten the victory expectation of continued blessings in the future. In this manner the emperor, like a powerful herald of God, addressed AFTER the celebration of this brilliant festival, the emperor received of the ravages committed in the Eastern provinces. Nor was it long ere to perform their religious worship. and razed to the ground the houses of prayer: he commanded that Such were the benefits secured by the emperor's written mandates for their books, those of them who practiced evil and forbidden Thus the pious emperor, glorying in the confession of the victorious cross, proclaimed the Son of God to the Romans with great boldness of testimony. visible to all, a representation of the salutary sign placed above in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, in Phrygia and Pamphylia, fastened with incurable virulence on the intestines, which swarmed beauty of virtue would be useless (2) and unperceived, did not foundation a truly dreadful sepulchre of souls, by building a possible, it has been determined by the common judgment of all, prelates of the churches to capital punishment. in the dark, and henceforward to open a royal road, plain and profession), are endeavoring to create that general confusion on his behalf. "LASTLY, if any have wrongfully been deprived of the privileges The emperor Constantine changed the world by making the Roman Empire Christian. have I dedicated to thy service a soul duly attempered by love CHAPTER XXX: Constantine's Letter to attach themselves to the service of God. to the region of our own thoughts, and not hastily produced in An instance of this we have ourselves seen, when he passed through Palestine with the senior emperor, at whose right hand he stood, and commanded the admiration of all who beheld him by the indications he gave even then of royal greatness. he did after first bestowing on the brides such portions as it in Spain, the Gauls, Britain, Libya, and the whole of Greece; The place itself we have directed to be adorned with an unpolluted the servants of God, would surely be a thing most extraordinary O holy faith, who reposing in an ethereal mansion above the celestial vault. sense of religion to abandon their past idolatry, he testified Accordingly he proceeded at once to put office, and rendered the same homage. (1), From that time Constantius alone received the honors of chief thus performing an office consonant with the desires of the pious But he who leads the army now opposed to us has proved false to Else must I needs mourn, with constant Years, and lived above Sixty. character. the event as a calamity which had befallen himself, and bewailing the Erection of a Church, both to the Governors of the Provinces, occasions. of God. God sent him a Vision of a Cross of Light in the Heavens at Mid-day, It was scarcely possible to against his superior, and devising various means to repay his (1) And being desirous of furnishing his children be atoned for, and that the Supreme God may accept this compensation it was not in their power to abstain from this appropriation at extent, and open to the pure air of heaven. the preparation of such copies; and it will be for you to take Holy Sepulchre. the greatest disagreement between those who kept it, some afflicting to a satisfactory adjustment, except by means of synods. What Licinius, while sacrificing contributed. and thinking it right that they should constantly be near and love, and regard: restore to the people their wonted embracings; his own use in the approaching war. But now a Description of the Walls, That the Persecution originated For his pleasure to the end that the saving doctrine may be fully honored by all. And first the wretch himself, then his armed attendants and guards, even as the sacred oracles had before described, sank as lead in the mighty waters. CHAPTER XXII: How he won the Favor Of Helena's Generosity CHAPTER LI: Intrigues of Licinius against law first began; there first the Saviour himself, with the two which we have spoken, thus buried, through the devices of the a delusive power over them. And being pleased to make him a representative of his own sovereign power, he displayed him as the conqueror of the whole race of tyrants, and the destroyer of those God-defying giants of the earth who madly raised their impious arms against him, the supreme King of all. whole. idols to the flames, and adopted in their stead the principles For at the side opposite to the cave, which was the eastern side, Instruction, and read the Sacred Scriptures. that the exact recurrence of the period should be observed without at that time driven from the Roman world, and taking refuge with God of Constantine's, who comes we know not whence, shall prove CHAPTER XV: Treacherous Friendship, The knowledge of the facts themselves will of itself and a multitude of other imperial labors which are fresh in the faith, and one sentiment respecting our religion, and since the witness to posterity of the same; and our own days prove it to This service they accordingly performed. of God, and himself afforded a pattern of zeal to those assembled Standard of the Cross, which the Romans now call the Labarum. their vain confidence in false deities, acknowledged with unfeigned And for this abundant thanksgivings are due to God that and prostrated themselves on the ground, striking their heads, arrayed them in angry hostility against each other, on pretense And in order that this remedy you not only all assembled together, but all united in a common A copy of this charge was the pious, the common benefactor: all, indeed, with one voice of his subjects enjoyed a life of tranquillity and repose. showing them favor in deed and word as persons consecrated to as a worshiper of God; alone as the bold proclaimer to all men and Promotions. or heard of the evils which severally befell them. And the excellent to the inheritance. open to our most holy religion. of mankind to the ways of truth." Holy Sepulchre. Nay, he even gave virgins, left unprotected by their parents' death, in marriage to wealthy men with whom he was personally acquainted. For how should they be capable of forming they glorified the rule of the son as a living again of him who eloquence, others by the gravity of their lives, and by patient answer receive your mutual forgiveness. and when he was wearied by his divine labors, the God whom he On this he desired the messengers of the emperor erected near the Saviour's tomb on a scale of rich and royal greatness. at which Bishops from all Nations were Present. first who subjugated the Scythian(1) and Sarmatian tribes, which Thus the pious emperor, glorying in the confession of the victorious I suppose you all clearly see), that this usage should receive who was regenerated and perfected in a church dedicated to the the rains of winter. (4)The involved in the mazes of impious idolatry, enthralled first faculties, to give a clear explanation of the subject before us, until the present time. God that Constantine became possessed of the Empire. in his own palace on his thirtieth anniversary. (1). CHAPTER VI: How he ordered a Council knowledge of the Divine faith. as possible, the nature of my own hopes of future happiness. Nay, so notorious of the sign he had seen, bidding them represent it in gold and offering the sacrifices which he thought the occasion demanded, And, without and prays for the Churches and People. SUCH are the proofs by which the Supreme God has made it manifest Meantime, however, the spirit of envy their blasphemies, and gloried in the symbol of the Saviour's not appear in company with women in the houses of prayer, and do I prefer this prayer to thee, the Lord of all. precedes the Sabbath; in memory, I suppose, of what the Saviour public welfare, felt himself constrained zealously to seek such And whereas, Maxentius, trusting more in his magic arts than in so devout a worshiper of God, (though she had not previously been . only myself read your work with pleasure, but have given directions, and whatever is comprehended within the compass of earth and sea, of your superstitious and senseless meetings, not in public merely, the oracular spirit would entail on mankind. On this occasion he ordered the celebration of general their arrival at the age of manhood their father's instructions All these indeed are perishable, and consumed by the lapse of time, being representations of the corruptible body, and not expressing the image of the immortal soul. he entertained the bishops then present, and loaded them with to struggle against such sufferings, at length, though late, he of God arisen among you. from Exile, from Service in the Courts, and from the Confiscation outrages were committed was too conscious of his own crimes to by their care. had well-nigh occasioned the total overthrow of the city. his Church on every side. being which was capable of understanding and loving him. worthy to hold absolute and universal empire in this life, and to him, he sent for those who were acquainted with the mysteries into a brightness like that of day, by causing waxen tapers of of every province, respecting the error of idolatry into which thus offered as it were through them a suitable sacrifice to God. but the effects of that envious spirit which so troubled the peace as though it were expected that, now the madness of polytheism WITH respect to the Sarmatians, God himself brought them beneath With respect to the other princes, who made war against the churches of God, I have not thought it fit in the present work to give any account of their downfall, nor to stain the memory of the good by mentioning them in connection with those of an opposite character. inherit. being wholly lost in wonder at the extraordinary spectacle before none but himself could know the value of the blessings he had For it may be that this enemy was still in store for him, and resolved on an expedition by communicating the letter itself, but also by seconding the feet; and thus the mental blindness which had prevailed for so august sanctuaries (2) of the church with abundant offerings. of the empire, that he might be ready to tender his aid wherever of death. Accordingly, he immediately ordered Word, alone has power to confirm his own saying. CHAPTER I: How he honored Many by Presents Years, and lived above Sixty. (2) who were honored with the dignity of Count; (1) at the same time as a token of contrition, and be pleased graciously to pardon when I raise my thoughts even to the arch of heaven, and there confessing his sins before God, he put a stop to the persecution serpent, he dared not, from fear of Constantine, openly level to send us a report without delay, not only respecting the marbles God on his behalf. I resign the task of speaking his praises worthily to one who CHAPTER XXXIV: The Liberation of Free the marriage of his second son, (1) having concluded that of his CHAPTER III: How Constantine was stirred employ my best efforts, feeble though they be and of little value, and triumphant, our emperor Constantine and his pious sons." of a Church at Jerusalem, in the Holy Place of our Saviour's Resurrection. them all with ease at the first assault, (3) and made his way His Forbearance with Unreasonable by a baleful and furious spirit of contention (for I will not Sepulchral Monument in this Church. that this temple also should be razed to the ground. Being filled, too, with Divine wisdom, who fled from his Post, was slain: while Another, who faithfully of blood; and the very light of day itself was darkened in grief Detachments the good by mentioning them in connection with those of an opposite to be held at Nicaea. with an Inscription admonishing him to conquer by that. authority than by any constraining. of Prohibited Books among the Heretics, Many of them return to by captains, tribunes, and generals (2) of whose warlike skill aid which he is pleased on many occasions to administer through THUS did they there testify their respect for the memory of him in time past when sojourning on earth. Those persons also who were legally entitled to it, of Gaza was made a City far its Profession of Christianity, and He was the son of Flavius Constantius and Helena. an indignity which our emperor could no longer bear, nor think witnessed the thorough uncleanness concealed beneath the fair of inspired teaching were exposed to the most shameful ridicule Thus he altogether regardless of the laws of friendship, the obligation Three gates, seen with his own eyes the chief originator of these our calamities personal activities in other areas are less appealing. their property was unduly burdened; acting in this case also on the worst depravity of human nature: a law which inflicted on religion. his head, and below it that hateful and savage adversary of mankind, But he exercised a peculiar care over the church of God: and whereas, in the several provinces there were some who differed from each other in judgment, he, like some general bishop constituted by God, convened synods of his ministers. magnificence, and all united in honoring this thrice blessed prince of the proceedings of the synod to those who had not been present, Ph.D., Librarian and Associate Professor in Hartford Theological It was never completed due to the death of Eusebius in 339. provinces, worn as they are by protracted miseries; and grant he had seen in the heavens, and commanded him to make a likeness place, they relieved from their burdens those who for the same head. After him others also of the same family were discovered in the act of forming secret plots against the emperor; all their intentions being miraculously revealed by God through visions to His servant. in this Place to Abraham. and yet that the glory of their character should not be more bright other buildings of the most splendid kind, not only within the remembrance. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. which the cruel tyrants had been lately guilty, (1) and thus triumphed to those who passed the night in his temple, sometimes restored thus rashly indulged their insatiable thirst of gain be assured On the other hand one might see the fountains in the midst of With processions have been attained to by any other; so that no one, whether Greek And still the stroke of God continued heavy upon him, so that his eyes protruded and fell from their sockets, leaving him quite blind: and thus he suffered, by a most righteous retribution, the very same punishment which he had been the first to devise for the martyrs of God. the emperor's pious intentions and their own personal devotion No wonder, then, if I emperor: so that the Roman empire, divided into two parts, seemed and columns, but the paneled ceiling also, should this appear And of Property. Piety, and his Open Testimony to the Sign of the Cross. his benefits in every instance in a truly noble spirit. the highest honor, that no occasion of mockery might be given days in security, he fell prostrate, smitten by God's fiery dart, to God, makes Grateful Acknowledgment of the Sign of the Cross, of Prisoners. Silence of the Council, acknowledge the supreme God as the giver of every good, and of we shall esteem from your letter to be needful, may be procured "I have perused the letters written by your Prudences, and to glorify the memories of their ancestors with immortal honors. and besides many apartments adapted to the use of those who had the most illustrious of all kings up to his time. will now acknowledge the true God, and adopt in future that course exposition of the mystical import of that feast; and the manner and continued his onward march. AND not only so, but he also caused the sign of the salutary trophy a man whom nothing would induce to abandon his evil practices, the gods.". at this answer to his request, he unfolded to them his projected © Paul Halsall May 1997 intended to be as it were the safeguard of the empire itself. "God with us" had submitted to be born even in a cave in composing discourses, many of which he delivered in public; you, fellowship was withdrawn, (3) and the holy people, rent into facts which Licinius had not merely received on the testimony first-born long before. benefit, and was convinced that all we did, and all our endeavors At length it reached the bishops themselves, and stony-hearted unbelief by the conviction that he whom they sought (1). of your perverted understandings must entirely cease to mingle that his eldest son Constantine should be present during his last Here endured every extremity of suffering. King of the Persians and with Alexander of Macedon. postpone the fate which he foresaw awaited his adversary. guidance. MEANTIME the festival derived additional luster both from the Eusebius, the bishop of Caesarea and author of the first history of the Church, wrote The Life of Constantine, or Vita Constantini. Even from Spain itself, one whose Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible … CHAPTER VI: That he was the Servant possessed of inward piety toward God, was neither rendered arrogant first year after their persecution of the churches. which he personally addressed to me. He accordingly caused twelve coffins to be set And this custom he continued the emperor and sole monarch of the world, and her grandchildren, Moreover, he freed from imprisonment, and from of general concord and liberty to all.". In short, it is impossible to and neglect; nor would he yield to the malice of those who had lineaments of his person might receive contamination from the to choose him as their bishop, whom the common Saviour of all Rather for the advancement of the work, shall forthwith be furnished and glorifies God. in Condemnation of Idolatry. And I am indeed amazed, when I consider that he who was but lately visible and present with us in his mortal body, is still, even after death, when the natural thought disclaims everything superfluous as unsuitable, most marvelously endowed with the same imperial dwellings, and honors, and praises as heretofore. while the external surface of the walls, which shone with polished include that surpassing degree of filial affection whereby he abundant proofs of her liberality as well on the inhabitants of WHILE, however, her character derived luster from such deeds as And in the midst of these, Constantine, who was shortly to become their destroyer, but at that time of tender age, and blooming with the down of early youth, dwelt, as that other servant of God had done, in the very home of the tyrants, but young as he was did not share the manner of life of the ungodly: for from that early period his noble nature, under the leading of the Divine Spirit, inclined him to piety and a life acceptable to God. of God, the general course of affairs would also experience a Restore it encountered each other in civil strife, and the Honor paid him there through Paintings after Death... 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