Sainthood discrepancies? Constantine?

God bless! The above-linked thread began about the sainthood of Gregory Palamas, and why the Catholic Church would recognize this; namely, why Rome would recognize Eastern saints famous for their opposition to communion with Rome. This does not apply just to Palamas or Photius, but also to Constantine.

I cannot foresee Constantine being placed on any Latin calendar nowadays–not because he had an association with the east, but because of his pagan life and Arian conversion (unless this is some myth I’m repeating).

I guess my questions are:

  1. Does this mean that St. Constantine is recognized by the Catholic Church in communion with Rome?
  2. If the answer is unclear, does that mean it is possible for some Catholic rites to recognize saints while other rites deny them?
  3. If any of the above are true, does that mean that our understanding of “saint” does not mean the church has 100% certainty they are in heavenly communion?

Just trying to grasp this. I’ve so many times defended attacks on church history by disassociating Catholicism from Constantine–where possible, of course. I suppose I can’t do that if we recognize him as a saint.

Just because Rome recognizes a particular Eastern saint does not mean they get a spot in the Roman calendar… nor even brought to the cognizance of Latin Rite priests.

However, Rome also doesn’t require the addition of particularly offensive Western saints to the Eastern calendars.

What Rome does require is that, once declared a saint, that all in union not claim otherwise. We do not know why certain objectionables were admitted to heaven, because we do not know, neé, cannot know God well enough while mortal. But the Pope can reveal that, by their works, we know God has admitted them to heaven.

Rev. Fr. Ragheed, Priest and Martyr, Pray for us!
Blessed Father Bishop Theodore, Pray for us!

Constantine is a saint by popular acclamation. I very much doubt any pope has ever formally canonized him by an infallible act. (Popular cults that have not been officially affirmed nor condemned are perfectly fine for Catholics, as long as they aren’t openly celebrated during the liturgy…in my kneck of the woods people, including priests, organize pilgrimmages to the grave of am official woman “saint” who hasn’t even been beatified).

Constantine converted on days before his death. Thus his life as a christian technically was one of holiness and imitation. Also, not to mention that he is celebrated along with his mother, whom was a devout Catholic.

Photius is recognized for the holiness of his life. I have read a defense for his canonization before but I do not recall it now.

Palamas , well it would be interesting to have him sainted, really at his time the schism was not thought to be permanent and there was vast misunderstandings on both sides of the isle.

Do any of our Churches commemorate “St. Constantine” on a Feast day? I know St. Gregory Palamas is a Saint of the Catholic Communion, but I’ve not yet experienced much in the way of reverence towards Constantine, at least not at my Melkite mission (doesn’t mean he isn’t reverenced at some point, just that Palamas has been specifically mentioned by our priest many times, especially on his Feast day, while Constantine has not). If he’s on our Calendar I haven’t noticed it yet.

He’s definitely not high on the list of those likely to be honored by Latins, likely ranking below St. Gregory Palamas. :stuck_out_tongue:

Peace and God bless!

His sainthood might have been determined by popular acclamation, but it’s become much more than something that is neither “affirmed nor condemned”, right? The fact that he is on a Catholic liturgical calendar is something; I’ve understood that to mean that the Catholic Church affirms it. Doesn’t this mean that Constantine is infallibly a saint, even if it hasn’t been officially declared?

Constantine converted on days before his death. Thus his life as a christian technically was one of holiness and imitation. Also, not to mention that he is celebrated along with his mother, whom was a devout Catholic.

I have heard/read that he chose an Arian bishop as his baptizer (a fact I’ve used in the past to argue that he didn’t have that much influence on the Council of Nicaea’s decisions), regardless of his mother’s or anyone else’s beliefs.

I can accept that we don’t understand God’s reasoning for putting the people in heaven that he does, and I know that Constantine’s actions did a lot of good for Christianity, regardless of his motivations or beliefs. It’s just a foreign notion to me still.

My understanding now is that it’s infallible that Constantine is a saint… since there’s no question over whether he existed, as there sometimes is with folk like St. Christopher. I’m fine with that; I’ve just wanted to make sure my understanding is accurate.

Do any of our Churches commemorate “St. Constantine” on a Feast day?**

Yes. 21 May on the Byzantine Calendar–Ss Constantine and Helen, Equals of the Apostles.

Our Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish in Minneapolis is St. Constantine’s.

Konstantin remains a fairly common Ukrainian male name.

Well, I do hope that Constantine and his mother are Saints. This is what I hope for everyone that some way, some how, that everyone finds Christ and embraces His Teachings and accepts HIs Blood.

I have often heard St. Monica’s name used anecdotally at Latin churches. I have even seen some Latin Churches under the patronage of St. Monica.


A Church’s local calendar of Saints is established under the authority of the local hierarch (bishop, Metropolitan, or Patriarch), not the Pope.

As I mentioned elsewhere, EVERY bishop has the authority to canonize a saint for his local church. It is simply that the Pope has singular authority to canonize a saint for the ENTIRE Church. It is as brother Aramis stated: “What Rome does require is that, once declared a saint, that all in union not claim otherwise.” But it should be understood that the cult of veneration itself accorded to the Saint is under the authority of the local bishop/Metropolitan/Patriarch to establish.


In the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church we commemorate Sts. Constantine and Helena, Holy Rulers and Equals to the Apostles also on May 21st.

In our Church this is a feast of lesser Vigil rank; there are specific Old Testament readings at Vespers, a Litya, and a specific Gospel reading at Matins in addition to the specific Divine Liturgy propers and Scripture readings.

Okay, I know I must be misunderstanding you. Because it cannot be that a bishop in… say… Galveston, TX… can declare the canonization of a local “saint” for that area, after which Rome requires that everyone in union not claim otherwise.

Or by “local church”, are you referring to local rite?

Much thanks to everyone, by the way, who has answered. I had never seen a St. Constantine icon before.

Dear Baron,

I mean that a bishop has the authority to establish that a particular person is a saint and worthy to be venerated for his local diocese (and not for anywhere else). “Popular acclamation” is a misnomer of sorts. “Popular acclamation” must be approved by the local bishop. Many times, a local saint’s veneration travels to other areas, and it is the bishop of that other area to determine if veneration in his diocese is proper and allowed. Sometimes, a local saint’s veneration travels to even farther areas, at which point a Metropolitan or Patriarch may become involved in the approval.
Eventually, it might be the case that the WHOLE Church venerates someone who was once a local Saint.

This would be the roundabout way of establishing a universal cult for a saint. The express way is for the Pope to establish the Sainthood of a person. Note that infallibility is involved in both methods - the former, the infallibility of the whole Church in accepting something with a united voice; the latter, the infallibility of the Pope.


That is DEFINITELY NOT how it is handled by the Roman church.

THere is a very rigid Roman process for beattification and sainthood.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

   I found Constantine the Great and his mother Helena listed as Saints  at   [](  

   For myself  I heed the Words of  Christ that urged  one to judge as one would be judged.  So to me this means to hold myself to the very strictest moral and ethical conduct before God and Man while holding others  in a forgiving and loving manner that reflects, hopefully,  the Life and Teachings of the  Lord  Jesus Christ.

Dear brother Aramis,

With all due respect, only PUBLIC veneration is required to have direct papal approval. What I am saying is that if persons wish to venerate a person, they should ask permission from their bishop to do so and not take it upon themselves to determine it. And the bishop has the authority to grant that permission.

Besides, the notion of public veneration does not refer to the mere veneration of a person, even by a large group of people. It actually refers to liturgical exomologesis.

So I cannot see why a whole segment of the Church cannot venerate or recognize a person as a saint, as long as he/she is not included in the liturgical litanies and the like.


That’s definitely how the Roman Church handles whether or not apparitions are worthy of belief. The bishop of the area has the final say in the matter and the Vatican can only elevate an approved apparition to the status of being worthy of veneration for the entire Church, not override him.

I know a lot of Roman Catholics who are surprised to find out that bishops have responsibilities the Vatican doesn’t or that each bishop is considered head of a local church in the west, too. I attended a Latin bishop’s installment and I remember the letter from the Vatican saying just that, but still people have this image of “pope is to bishop as bishop is to priest.” It isn’t so, not even in the Roman Church.

I certainly am surprised. I was going to look up the Bayside apparitions as a counterexample to show a case where the Vatican clearly denounced a private revelation, but it seems that the local bishop was most involved in denouncing those. Learn something new every day. I think I like it.

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