Constantine a saint? Why?

We are told that Constantine was the first Roman emperor to stop Christian persecutions and to legalize Christianity. It is not stressed that was along with all other religions and cults in the Roman Empire. In 313, Constantine developed the Edict of Milan. The edict stated that Christians should be allowed to follow the faith without oppression. This removed penalties for professing Christianity, under which many had been martyred previously, and returned confiscated Church property. However, the edict protected from religious persecution not only Christians but all religions, allowing anyone to worship whichever deity they chose.

Then in 326, Constantine had his eldest son Crispus seized and put to death by poison, and his wife, the Empress Fausta, killed at the behest of his mother, Helena. Fausta was left to die in an over-heated bath.

So why exactly do we honor him so much as to call him St. Constantine? Further reading seems to indicate he was an opportunist who wanted to stop all the early inter-religious turmoil by allowing them all equal footing.

And Paul had Christians killed. St Stephen for example. And he is a Saint.

While the historical record is not clear on why Constatine ordered these executions, it may have been incest, adultery, a plot of treason, or a power play gone awry by Fausta. We don’t know. And the historical record doesn’t support that anything was done “at the behest” of St Helena. Beware getting your information from Wikipedia.

What we do know is that a life is not defined by a single act. Constatine did many great things for the Church and the Empire to stabilize and reform, and most importantly he called the Council of Nicea, the most important council in the fight against the Arian heresy. In that regard, he saved Christendom,

Baptized on his deathbed, he was cleansed of whatever sins he had committed earlier in his lifetime, whatever they may have been. He has been considered a saint since early times through popular proclamation. The Orthodox Churches and some of the Eastern Catholic Churches celebrate him as a saint.

Elijah put to death 400 false prophets!

I don’t think the whole Church considers him a saint. Only part of it. If my understanding is correct, that makes him a Blessed, not a Saint.

The Latins don’t consider Constantine a canonized saint (though he might be in heaven), probably because he chose to wait to be baptized until his deathbed, and thus refused to come to Christ until the very end. The Greeks consider Constantine a canonized saint, but this could be either because he founded one of their main Christian cities (Constantinople), or because there might be reason to think Constantine was baptized earlier in life and did in fact live a Christian life.

We don’t know if he actually carried out those sins mentioned earlier on, but in such a position as Emperor, you would constantly (no pun intended) be faced with difficult decisions, especially when it comes to punishing crime. It could be that he was baptized upon his deathbed because he knew it would be difficult for his hands to remain unstained while as Emperor, which still isn’t a good excuse but is understandable.

He is a Saint on the Eastern Catholic calendar, May 21. Eastern Catholics are Catholics. Therefore, he is a saint, simply a saint without a feast day on the Latin calendar.

I don’t think that follows. I believe that someone counts as a blessed if they are only venerated locally rather than universally.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says: “veneration, however, may be…universal or local. … if [a decree] only permits [a person’s veneration], or if it binds under precept, but not with regard to the whole Church, it is a decree of beatification.” source

Constantine’s veneration does not appear to be commanded of the whole Church, or even of part of it. It seems to be simply permitted. Doesn’t he fall under the category of “blessed” in as a result?

There are a lot of saints without feast days on the Latin calendar that may have at one point had them. From what I understand the calendar used to be a lot more crowded and of course there were saints that the British celebrated that nobody in the German lands had never heard of and probably vice versa.

I think that since the Byzantines celebrate him as a saint then we should probably view him as a saint, even if he is not on the Latin calendar. I’ve never heard of anybody only being viewed as a “blessed” because they are a saint on one calendar but not another.

ChadS

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