On October 29th, 312, Emperor Constantine the Great and his men (their shields bearing Chi-Rho) entered Rome to popular jubilation, following their victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge.
He was not even a Christian at that time. His personal flaws were numerous, including disposing of family members. Even when he was baptized it was probably as an Arian, not as a Catholic.
Christians owe him great gratitude.
There are lessons for our own day: powerful rulers can do God’s will even if they are not really religious or Catholic.
Who is the Constantine of today?
I thought of this concept when the first reading at Mass a couple weeks ago mentioned king Cyrus of Persia whom “God used though he knew God not.” May God do this again.
The only thing worse than war is a bad peace. If Constantine hadn’t insisted on fighting the usurper Christianity might never have reached all corners of the earth.
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