I was the first Roman emperor to declare Christianity as the official religion of Rome and its empire. I pioneered the concept of closely intertwining the state and religion. I provided compensation for Christians that had been previously persecuted. I am well known for my great success in battle. I flew the flag of Christ for all to see and never lost a battle under it no matter what the odds.
I was born in Naissus, between 274 and 288 A.D. as Flavious Valerius Constantinus. With my father as emperor, I left as a general to fight the Celts in the British Isles. I won many battles and became beloved among my troops.
When dad retired, I was one of the top choices for emperor. I was chosen to rule the eastern empire while my brother-in-law Maxentius ruled the western empire. Maxentius fought with the other emperors Severus and Galerius for more land. During all this I stayed out of their battles and defended my frontier borders against the German barbarians.
After Galerius was killed, Maxentius focused his wrath on me, tearing down statues of me and declaring me a tyrant. While Maxentius’ army numbered in the hundred thousands, mine was just a small but superbly trained army ranging from twenty-five thousand to one hundred thousand men. With his huge advantage I realized I needed help in a big way so I turned to the Lord. I dedicated my army and life to him. I received a vision from God in which I was shown a cross with the Latin inscription “in hoc signo vinces” which means “in this sign you will be victorious.” I then went and put the Greek symbol of Jesus Christ on all of my warrior’s shields.
I marched into Rome defeating Maxentius on numerous occasions. But the Major defeat came on October 28th 312, when my army massacred Maxentius’ with the help of God. Maxentius himself was killed when he was struck into the river and his armor dragged him to his death.
One of the first things I did after Defeating Maxentius, was decrees the Edict of Milan. This allowed Christians to practice their faith freely in the Roman Empire.
Now there was only one more enemy to overcome in Rome. The cruel and hated tyrants, Licinius. We fought twice, the firs...
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...bjects. Even though I had made the national religion Christianity, I also allowed paganism to be practiced and pagan idols displayed on Roman coins.
I made many efforts to ensure the future of Rome, both political and religious. I appointed my three sons as future emperors of the empire, and made sure that Christianity would remain the religion, by calling more than three hundred bishops together at the Council of Nicea. From there the Creed of Nicea was drafted. This Creed is better known as the Nicene Creed which is still used by many Christians.
Right before my death, the Persians, led by their king, Shapur, rose up against me. And so again I had to raise an army to restore peace in the empire. It is one the way to do battle with them that I was struck with a deadly illness and died in May of 337. I was Baptized on my deathbed and quietly passed away before I had a chance to do battle with Shapur.
1. The Catholic Encyclopedia Online, Volume C.
2. Constantine Converts to Christianity
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