(April 06)


On this day died Constantine, the righteous emperor.  The name of the father of this holy man was “Kuensta,” that is to say, “Green,” and his mother’s name was ‘Eleni (Helena).  Kuensta reigned over the city of Byzantium, and Maximianus reigned over the city of Rome, and Diocletian reigned over the city of Antioch and over Egypt.  This Keunsta was by race a Greek, and he was a pagan, but he was good in disposition, and there was no evil in him, and he loved to do good, and he was compassionate and merciful.  And he went to the city of Rome, and he saw ‘Eleni (Helena), and he married her; now she was a Christian, and she conceived this King Constantine.  Then his father Kuensta left ‘Eleni (Helena) in the city of Roha (Edessa) and returned to the city of Byzantium, and she brought forth this Saint Constantine.  And she brought him up very piously, and she taught him every kind of learning, and she sowed in his heart mercy and compassion for the Christians, but she did not dare to have him baptized with Christian baptism; now she was a Christian, and she told him that she was a Christian.  And he grew up, and he was a bold and skilful horseman.  And he rose up from his city, and went to Byzantium, and his father rejoiced in him when he saw that he was full of wisdom and learning, and that he was a bold and skilful horseman, and he made him king, and crowned him with the royal crown.  After two years his father died, and he received all the kingdom.  And he reigned with judgment and integrity, and he removed from the people the services, which those who had been emperors before him had made them, render.  And all the peoples were subject unto him, and they loved him, and obeyed him, and the report of the righteous judgments, which he used to pass, was heard throughout all countries.  And the elders of the city of Rome sent to him, and asked him to come to them, and to release them from the service of Maximianus.  When he had read the letter, which they had sent him, he was sorry because of the tribulation, which had come upon them, and he meditated anxiously about what he could do to relieve them of their tribulation.  And whilst he was sitting in the judgment hall, in the middle of the day, there appeared to him a cross by his side in the form of stars, and on it was written in the Greek language Nikos Aton, which being interpreted is, “With this thou shalt conquer thine enemy.”  And he marveled when he saw the light of that cross, for it was quenching the light of the sun.  And he meditated about what was written on it, and he showed it to the chief officers of his army, and the chief officials of his kingdom; and they marveled, and they did not know for what reason that cross had appeared.  That night the angel of the Lord appeared unto Constantine in a vision, and said unto him, “Make a sign for thyself like that sign which thou didst see at mid-day, and with it thou shalt conquer thine enemy.”  When he awoke from his sleep, he strengthened his heart, and he made a cross of gold, and set it above the royal crown, and he ordered all his officers and his soldiers to make a cross upon their weapons, and they did so.  Now this took place in the seventh year of his kingdom in the city of Byzantium.  Then he assembled all his armies, and went out to deliver the men of the city of Rome.  And the report of him was heard by Maximianus, and he made a bridge over the sea, and he and his soldiers crossed over to Constantine to do battle with him; and then they met together and joined battle and fought.  And it came to pass that wherever the cross was in front the soldiers of Maximianus melted away, and Constantine killed countless men of the army of Maximianus, who took to flight with the remainder of his troops.  And Maximianus and his men rushed on the bridge in order to enter the city of Rome, and the bridge broke and he and all his men were drowned in the sea, even as were Pharaoh and his hosts.  And Constantine entered the city of Rome, and the people thereof welcomed him with lamps, and instruments of music, and garlands, and plays, and laughter, and decorations with pearl-stones, and the wise and learned men praised the Honorable Cross, and called it the Savior of their city.  And they made a great festival in honor of the Honorable Cross, which lasted for seven days.  And when Constantine reigned in the city of Rome, he and all his soldiers were baptized with Christ baptism by Saint Sol, Archbishop of the city of Rome, in the eleventh year of his reign, which is the fourth year after the Honorable Cross appeared to him; and he reigned over a Christian and Messianic kingdom.  And he sent throughout his kingdom, and commanded [his governors] to set free all who were prisoners for the sake of the Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And he also commanded them to pay honor to all Christians, and not to abase them, and he commanded them to give to the priests the property and lands of the heathen temples.  And he commanded them to give authority to Christians as governors, and to set them over the pagan peoples, and he commanded that they should do no business during the octave of the Passion, and what followeth it, even as the Apostles commanded.  Then he sent his mother ‘Eleni (Helena) to Jerusalem, to search for the wood of the Life-giving Cross, wherein lay his help and his conquest.  In the seventeenth year of his reign the General Council of the Saints assembled, Three Hundred and Eighteen Bishops, and good regulations for all Christian folk were drawn up.  Then he decided to build in the city of Byzantium, and he built in the city of Byzantium; and he built a great city, which was [called after] his name “Constantine,” and he built in it a large church in the name of our holy Lady, the Virgin Mary, the God-bearer, and he called it, “Hagia Sophia.”  And he decorated it with all kinds of decorations, both material and spiritual, because there were gathered together inside it the bodies of many of the apostles and holy martyrs.  And having fought his noble fight, he became a little sick in the city of Nicomedia, and he died therein, and they made him ready for burial and laid him in a gold sarcophagus; and they carried him and brought him to the city of Constantine.  And the archbishops, and the priests, and all the people went out to meet him, and they followed him to the tomb with prayers, and psalms, and spiritual hymns; and they laid him in the sanctuary of the holy apostles.  And all the days of his life were five and sixty years.  He lived three and thirty years before he became king, and he sat on his royal throne two and thirty years, according to the years of the world.  Salutation to Constantine, the builder of churches.  Salutation to ‘Eleni (Helena), who showed the memorial of the Resurrection to the people of Constantine.

Salutation to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.  Amen.