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« on: August 18, 2010, 12:32:25 PM »

Why is Emporer Constantine a Canonized Saint? I know he did some great things, such as make the Christian Faith legal, create the 'New Rome,' and things like that; but a Saint? The reason I ask is because I read that St. Constantine was actually persuaded to the Arian side, and was even baptized on his death-bed by an Arian.
Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2010, 12:44:50 PM »

Not just a saint, but Equal to the Apostles..
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 12:57:34 PM »

Where did you read that?
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 01:38:58 PM »

Not just a saint, but Equal to the Apostles..

Oh yeah, I forgot about that. That's pretty deep.
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 01:42:21 PM »

Where did you read that?

I don't know how reliable it is, but I read it on New World Encyclopidia. Also, on Orthodox wiki, Ancient Faith Radio on 'At the Intersection of East and West' on one of the teachings about Nicea, and it has been brought up sometimes in religious discussions I partake in.
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 02:13:29 PM »

He also persecuted St. Athanasius.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athanasius_of_Alexandria#Opposition_to_Arianism
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2010, 02:19:54 PM »


Exactly. So I don't know how or why he was canonized a Saint. I know he did some great things, but it seems a person should be a devout Orthodox Christian to be canonized a Saint.
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2010, 02:42:42 PM »

Where did you read that?

I don't know how reliable it is, but I read it on New World Encyclopidia. Also, on Orthodox wiki, Ancient Faith Radio on 'At the Intersection of East and West' on one of the teachings about Nicea, and it has been brought up sometimes in religious discussions I partake in.


There are many controversies concerning St. Constantine.. I don`t think he died an Arian.. I`ve heard that he was somehow connected or inclined towards Arianism before Niceea, but Niceea is the very thing that shows us that he was not sure of it, and wanted christianity to become more clarified.. That is why he convoked the Sinod... To settle the missunderstandings between Arians and Orthodox.. And to stop the persecutions that were made by the Arians to the Orthodox.. It is recalled that most of the fathers of Niceea 325, had visible marks of their persecutions.. Back to Constantine.. I`ve heard that he was baptized only in the last years of his life.. And after he was baptized he wore only white clothing.. Constantine did a lot for christianity, and that is why the Church considers him the 13rd Apostle.He stopped the persecutions of Christians,he set christianity free,he build churches, and he convoked the first Ecumenical Council and helped at the establishment of the Orthodox Creed.

My opinion is that he was not Arian when he died.. The Arians were very violent in those times from what i`ve heard, they used violence against those that didn`t agree with them.. And they were quite numerous.. I think that Constantine was more on the side of the Orthodox than the Arians.. If he would have been on the side of Arians, he would use violence and force, and remove the orthodox..

There are different stories concerning Constantine that came along time.. The truth, from what it remains, and what is sure is this.. That he was on the side of the Church, through his actions..

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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2010, 03:13:56 PM »

And to stop the persecutions that were made by the Arians to the Orthodox.. It is recalled that most of the fathers of Niceea 325, had visible marks of their persecutions..

Well, Emperor/St. Theodosius the Great started to actively persecute the Arians when he made Trinitarian Nicean Christianity the official Roman religion. So we also canonize persecutors, although I know that St. Theodosius was publically rebuked by the Pope of Alexandria of his time, so approval of all of his actions certainly wasn't the case.

The more I think about St. Constantine, the more I reflect on biblical figures like the Prophet and King David, who did many horrible things in his life. But beneath it all, he really did love God in a deep way. Perhaps the same is true of St. Constantine, and we must trust the Church in its decisions. It's a wonderful opportunity for me to be humbled.
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2010, 02:23:53 AM »

Constantine was baptized by an Arian, Eusebius of Nicomedia.  But Eusebius has *renounced" his Arianism during the life of Constantine, only to take it up again after his death (I think it is safe to say he had remained an Arian, but claimed Orthodoxy during Constantine's later life in order to stay in his bishopric and not be exiled).  So Constantine would not have known/considered him an Arian.
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2010, 02:29:24 AM »

Constantine was baptized by an Arian, Eusebius of Nicomedia.  But Eusebius has *renounced" his Arianism during the life of Constantine, only to take it up again after his death (I think it is safe to say he had remained an Arian, but claimed Orthodoxy during Constantine's later life in order to stay in his bishopric and not be exiled).  So Constantine would not have known/considered him an Arian.

Wouldn't believing that a secretly heretical bishops was distributing invalid mysteries because of his own delusion be Docetism?
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2010, 10:10:32 AM »

Isaiah 45

1“This is what the Lord says to his anointed,

to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of

to subdue nations before him

and to strip kings of their armor,

to open doors before him

so that gates will not be shut:

2I will go before you

and will level the mountainsa;

I will break down gates of bronze

and cut through bars of iron.

3I will give you the treasures of darkness,

riches stored in secret places,

so that you may know that I am the Lord,

the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

4For the sake of Jacob my servant,

of Israel my chosen,

I summon you by name

and bestow on you a title of honor,

though you do not acknowledge me.

5I am the Lord, and there is no other;

apart from me there is no God.

I will strengthen you,

though you have not acknowledged me,

6so that from the rising of the sun

to the place of its setting

men may know there is none besides me.

I am the Lord, and there is no other.

7I form the light and create darkness,

I bring prosperity and create disaster;

I, the Lord, do all these things.

8“You heavens above, rain down righteousness;

let the clouds shower it down.

Let the earth open wide,

let salvation spring up,

let righteousness grow with it;

I, the Lord, have created it.

9“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker,

to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.

Does the clay say to the potter,

‘What are you making?’

Does your work say,

‘He has no hands’?

10Woe to him who says to his father,

‘What have you begotten?’

or to his mother,

‘What have you brought to birth?’

11“This is what the Lord says—

the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:

Concerning things to come,

do you question me about my children,

or give me orders about the work of my hands?

12It is I who made the earth

and created mankind upon it.

My own hands stretched out the heavens;

I marshaled their starry hosts.

13I will raise up Cyrusb in my righteousness:

I will make all his ways straight.

He will rebuild my city

and set my exiles free,

but not for a price or reward,

says the Lord Almighty.”
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2010, 10:35:35 AM »

Constantine was baptized by an Arian, Eusebius of Nicomedia.  But Eusebius has *renounced" his Arianism during the life of Constantine, only to take it up again after his death (I think it is safe to say he had remained an Arian, but claimed Orthodoxy during Constantine's later life in order to stay in his bishopric and not be exiled).  So Constantine would not have known/considered him an Arian.

Wouldn't believing that a secretly heretical bishops was distributing invalid mysteries because of his own delusion be Docetism?

Whether or not Eusebius of Nicomedia was a secretly heretical bishop or not does not change the validity of an "Orthodox" baptism.  The early councils of the church have told us that the sacrament's validity is not based on the beliefs of a properly ordained priest, otherwise none of us could know for certain our baptism was valid.  Really, if we think about it, how do I know for absolute certainty what my priest does in his private time? Eusebius had publicly renounced the Arian heresy, which Constantine was against.  His true colors came out though as soon as Constantine died, when he resumed the Arian heresy and cause.

So Constantine was not an Arian, and actively opposed Arianism.  He certainly had his own list of sins, and some very big ones at that, but he also showed extreme repentance afterwards.  In the last years of his life, he was very penitent, and sought to live a pious life.
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2010, 02:56:47 PM »

Constantine was baptized by an Arian, Eusebius of Nicomedia.  But Eusebius has *renounced" his Arianism during the life of Constantine, only to take it up again after his death (I think it is safe to say he had remained an Arian, but claimed Orthodoxy during Constantine's later life in order to stay in his bishopric and not be exiled).  So Constantine would not have known/considered him an Arian.

Wouldn't believing that a secretly heretical bishops was distributing invalid mysteries because of his own delusion be Docetism?
Docetism teaches that Jesus only appeared to be human and that this appearance was merely an illusion.  I think you may actually be thinking of Donatism.
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2010, 03:39:10 PM »

Docetism teaches that Jesus only appeared to be human and that this appearance was merely an illusion.  I think you may actually be thinking of Donatism.

That's the one! Thanks for the worthwhile and helpful contribution.  Wink
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2010, 05:04:05 PM »

How would such a notion be Donatist?
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« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2010, 10:36:32 PM »

Canonization of Constantine recognizes the inestimable aid he did for God's Church. Nonetheless, as Emperor he carried on military campaigns and even had his wife and son executed, it seems for treason. He brought the Bishops together at the Nicene Council that determined the Trinitarian doctrine, the foundation of mainline Christianity. He built many churches and promoted Christianity.

Admittedly, there's great controversy around the issue of a state sponsored church and how it can be protected but at the same time be corrupted by the state. But a country's leadership has great influence in the belief of their people. Examples abound. King Henry the 8th in dispossessing the Roman Church created a whole class dedicated to Protestantism, the Landed Gentry, who gained possession of the vast Church lands. Return of Roman Catholicism would have meant disaster for them and they were staunch supporters of the crown. Queen Elisabeth molded the Anglican Church from political compromise with Liturgical elements from the Ancient Church and Reformed theology. Voila English Protestantism.

It can't be denied he made a great contribution to the welfare of the Church, after suffering from great persecution from the Roman State. If you look around the world where Christianity is not dominant, it is persecuted: India, China, Middle East.  And history tells us there was a growing Christian Church in China up to the 8th century until it was suppressed and a Christian Church in Japan that was brutally destroyed in the 17th Century.

And so I tire of recounting of the intolerance of Christians, as simply a means to put Christianity down. Try to find a Christian Church in Turkey, home of the Ancient Greek and Armenian Churches for centuries. The Turks building their nation out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after WWI ethnically cleansed it.

Tolerance and freedom of worship are rarely found in history or across the globe. The secularists in Europe and America, while espousing tolerance, only mean tolerance for their secular permissive view. Those that violate that, by espousing belief, are attacked as intolerant and worthy of censor. Note the brouhaha when someone mentions Christ on TV, while nearly ever vile opinion or word is tolerated.

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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2010, 11:26:46 PM »

Welome to the forum, peachj!
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2010, 05:13:29 AM »

I think the problem here is that giving a lot to the Church is not enough for one's salvation...

"And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing"

This will open the door for milliardaires to grant a lot to the church while not caring for their own souls...
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2010, 05:13:17 PM »

Canonization of Constantine recognizes the inestimable aid he did for God's Church. Nonetheless, as Emperor he carried on military campaigns and even had his wife and son executed, it seems for treason. He brought the Bishops together at the Nicene Council that determined the Trinitarian doctrine, the foundation of mainline Christianity. He built many churches and promoted Christianity.

Admittedly, there's great controversy around the issue of a state sponsored church and how it can be protected but at the same time be corrupted by the state. But a country's leadership has great influence in the belief of their people. Examples abound. King Henry the 8th in dispossessing the Roman Church created a whole class dedicated to Protestantism, the Landed Gentry, who gained possession of the vast Church lands. Return of Roman Catholicism would have meant disaster for them and they were staunch supporters of the crown. Queen Elisabeth molded the Anglican Church from political compromise with Liturgical elements from the Ancient Church and Reformed theology. Voila English Protestantism.

It can't be denied he made a great contribution to the welfare of the Church, after suffering from great persecution from the Roman State. If you look around the world where Christianity is not dominant, it is persecuted: India, China, Middle East.  And history tells us there was a growing Christian Church in China up to the 8th century until it was suppressed and a Christian Church in Japan that was brutally destroyed in the 17th Century.

And so I tire of recounting of the intolerance of Christians, as simply a means to put Christianity down. Try to find a Christian Church in Turkey, home of the Ancient Greek and Armenian Churches for centuries. The Turks building their nation out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after WWI ethnically cleansed it.

Tolerance and freedom of worship are rarely found in history or across the globe. The secularists in Europe and America, while espousing tolerance, only mean tolerance for their secular permissive view. Those that violate that, by espousing belief, are attacked as intolerant and worthy of censor. Note the brouhaha when someone mentions Christ on TV, while nearly ever vile opinion or word is tolerated.


Bravo!
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2010, 06:10:29 PM »

Constantine was baptized by an Arian, Eusebius of Nicomedia.  But Eusebius has *renounced" his Arianism during the life of Constantine, only to take it up again after his death (I think it is safe to say he had remained an Arian, but claimed Orthodoxy during Constantine's later life in order to stay in his bishopric and not be exiled).  So Constantine would not have known/considered him an Arian.  

Right, Eusebius of Nicomedia was, at the time of Constantine's death, officially subscribed to Nicea and was the recognized legitimate Bishop of Nicomedia.  Why did Constantine "choose" to be baptized by him?   He really did not "choose" this.  At the time of Constantine's death, Nicomedia was a residence of the imperial court in Bithynia.  Eusebius was simply the local bishop in the location where Constantine fell ill.     
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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2010, 06:29:39 PM »

Constantine was baptized by an Arian, Eusebius of Nicomedia.  But Eusebius has *renounced" his Arianism during the life of Constantine, only to take it up again after his death (I think it is safe to say he had remained an Arian, but claimed Orthodoxy during Constantine's later life in order to stay in his bishopric and not be exiled).  So Constantine would not have known/considered him an Arian.  

Right, Eusebius of Nicomedia was, at the time of Constantine's death, officially subscribed to Nicea and was the recognized legitimate Bishop of Nicomedia.  Why did Constantine "choose" to be baptized by him?   He really did not "choose" this.  At the time of Constantine's death, Nicomedia was a residence of the imperial court in Bithynia.  Eusebius was simply the local bishop in the location where Constantine fell ill.     

Wow.  That changes everything.  Thanks for this clarification, Father.  I beg your prayers and blessing.
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2010, 11:00:28 AM »

Constantine was baptized by an Arian, Eusebius of Nicomedia.  But Eusebius has *renounced" his Arianism during the life of Constantine, only to take it up again after his death (I think it is safe to say he had remained an Arian, but claimed Orthodoxy during Constantine's later life in order to stay in his bishopric and not be exiled).  So Constantine would not have known/considered him an Arian.  

Right, Eusebius of Nicomedia was, at the time of Constantine's death, officially subscribed to Nicea and was the recognized legitimate Bishop of Nicomedia.  Why did Constantine "choose" to be baptized by him?   He really did not "choose" this.  At the time of Constantine's death, Nicomedia was a residence of the imperial court in Bithynia.  Eusebius was simply the local bishop in the location where Constantine fell ill.     

So is it true than, that he baptize only when he felt he was dying?

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« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2010, 07:00:24 PM »

It was partaken of when he was sick, but as his thanksgiving after Baptism showed, he was prepared to live out a full life after this

From the Life of Constantine by Eusebius of Caesarea:

CHAPTER LXI: His Sickness at Helenopolis, and Prayers respecting his Baptism.


AT first he experienced some slight bodily indisposition, which was soon followed by positive disease. In consequence of this he visited the hot baths of his own city; and thence proceeded to that which bore the name of his mother. Here he passed some time in the church of the martyrs, and offered up supplications and prayers to God. Being at length convinced that his life was drawing to a close, he felt the time was come at which he should seek purification from sins of his past career, firmly believing that whatever errors he had committed as a mortal man, his soul would be purified from them through the efficacy of the mystical words and the salutary waters of baptism. (1) Impressed with these thoughts, he poured forth his supplications and confessions to God, kneeling on the pavement in the church itself, in which he also now for the first time received the imposition of hands with prayer. (2) After this he proceeded as far as the suburbs of Nicomedia, and there, having summoned the bishops to meet him, addressed them in the following words.


CHAPTER LXII: Constantine's Appeal to the Bishops, requesting them to confer upon him the Rite of Baptism.


"THE time is arrived which I have long hoped for, with an earnest desire and prayer that I might obtain the salvation of God. The hour is come in which I too may have the blessing of that seal which confers immortality; the hour in which I may receive the seal of salvation. I had thought to do this in the waters of the river Jordan, wherein our Saviour, for our example, is recorded to have been baptized: but God, who knows what is expedient for us, is pleased that I should receive this blessing here. Be it so, then, without delay: (1) for should it be his will who is Lord of life and death, that my existence here should be prolonged, and should I be destined henceforth to associate with the people of God, and unite with them in prayer as a member of his. Church, I will prescribe to myself from this time such a course of life as befits his service." After he had thus spoken, the prelates performed the sacred ceremonies in the usual manner, and, having given him the necessary instructions, made him a partaker of the mystic ordinance. Thus was Constantine the first of all sovereigns who was regenerated and perfected in a church dedicated to the martyrs of Christ; thus gifted with the Divine seal of baptism, he rejoiced in spirit, was renewed, and filled with heavenly light: his soul was gladdened by reason of the fervency of his faith, and astonished at the manifestation of the power of God. At the conclusion of the ceremony he arrayed himself in shining imperial vestments, brilliant as the light, (2) and reclined on a couch of the purest white, refusing to clothe himself with the purple any more.


CHAPTER LXIII: How after his Baptism he rendered Thanks God.


HE then lifted his voice and poured forth a strain of thanksgiving to God; after which he added these words. "Now I know that I am truly blessed: now I feel assured that I am accounted worthy of immortality, and am made a partaker of Divine light." He further expressed his compassion for the unhappy condition of those who were strangers to such blessings as he enjoyed: and when the tribunes and generals of his army appeared in his presence with lamentations and tears at the prospect of their bereavement, and with prayers that his days might yet be prolonged, he assured them in reply that he was now in possession of true life; that none but himself could know the value of the blessings he had received; so that he was anxious rather to hasten than to defer his departure to God. He then proceeded to complete the needful arrangement of his affairs, bequeathing an annual donation to the Roman inhabitants of his imperial city; apportioning the inheritance of the empire, like a patrimonial estate, among his own children; in short, making every disposition according to his own pleasure. (1)


CHAPTER LXIV: Constantinople's Death at Noon on the Feast of Pentecost.


ALL these events occurred during a most important festival, I mean the august and holy solemnity of Pentecost, which is distinguished by a period of seven weeks, and sealed with that one day on which the holy Scriptures attest, the ascension of our common Saviour into heaven, and the descent of the Holy Spirit among men. In the course of this feast the emperor received the privileges I have described; and on the last day of all, which one might justly call the feast of feasts, he was removed about mid- day to the presence of his God, leaving his mortal remains to his fellow mortals, and carrying into fellowship with God that part of his being which was capable of understanding and loving him. (1) Such was the close of Constantine's mortal life. Let us now attend to the circumstances which followed this event

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/vita-constantine.html
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2010, 07:10:44 PM »

Ephraim.ID is correct that whatever Eusebius private, unspoken beliefs were (and the evidence does suggest that he never truly repented of Arianism), his public confession at the time of St Constantine's baptism was Orthodox. If a bishop's public confession is heretical, then that does in fact invalidate any mysteries he performs, contra what Ephraim implied. However, privately held heresy, although of itself a mortal sin, does not invalidate the mysteries performed.

The following is from the Confession of Dositheus (1672), Decree XVI, with emphasis added:

Now the matter of Baptism is pure water, and no other liquid. And it is performed by the Priest only, or in a case of unavoidable necessity, by another man, provided he is Orthodox, and has the proper intention to Divine Baptism.
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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2010, 01:40:20 PM »

St. Constantine made it possible for the whole world to become Christian -- thats pretty epic
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2010, 04:27:14 PM »

So is it true than, that he baptize only when he felt he was dying?

FatherHLL already addressed that. I would just add that delaying baptism was not an uncommon practice in this period, not peculiar to St. Constantine, so it really tells us nothing negative about Constantine.

Many Christians, including priests and bishops, believed that people would fall under severe, potentially even permanent, excommunication and hell-fire if they committed adultery, apostasy, or murder (sometimes including killing in battle) after Baptism. This belief was so strong that some even expanded it to any active sin, i.e. lying, stealing, etc. 

Many of the Church Fathers in this period had to give hortatory sermons, specifically to encourage and convince people that they shouldn't wait for Baptism. Kind of like during the Kollyvades period or today, in which clergy give sermons about how one should participate regularly in the Eucharist, percisely because many Christians believe they are unworthy to do so.
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But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)
Tags: saints Constantine St. Constantine 
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