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Saint of the Day for 11 March: St. Constantine

St. Constantine: Emperor, Convert and Patron of Christianity


St. Constantine


King and martyr


c. 520, Cornwall


May 9, 576, Kintyre, Scotland


11 March


2004 edition



O almighty and eternal God, who gave your holy martyr Constantine the strength to sustain to the last the peaceful battle of faith, grant us also to face, for love of you, every adversity, and to walk eagerly toward you, who are true life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Patron of

Capri Leone, San Costantino Calabro, Gudo Visconti, Siamaggiore, San Costantino Albanese

Roman Martyrology

In Scotland, St. Constantine, king, disciple of St. Columba and martyr.

The Saint and Mission

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Saint Constantine the Great, a historical figure of capital importance for Christianity and the Roman Empire, is often remembered for his crucial role in the legalization and promotion of the Christian faith through the Edict of Milan. His conversion and subsequent support for Christianity marked a turning point in the history of the Church, indicating the beginning of a new era in which the Christian faith went from being persecuted to the officially recognized and favored religion of the Roman Empire. The mission of Saint Constantine can be seen as an interweaving of political vision and personal spiritual faith. Through his reign, Constantine not only sought to stabilize and unify the Empire under a single faith, but also to create an environment in which Christianity could flourish without fear of persecution. This political and social change was not only the result of strategic calculations, but also of a profound personal and spiritual transformation that led him to embrace Christianity. His commitment to building churches in places significant to Christianity, such as the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, demonstrates his willingness to support and venerate the Christian faith not only with words, but with concrete actions. These buildings were not only places of worship, but also tangible symbols of the new alliance between the imperial power and the Church, which would guide the faithful in the centuries to come. Furthermore, Constantine’s involvement in theological debates and his participation in the first Council of Nicea highlight his desire to see a united and orthodox Church, free from internal divisions that could threaten his stability. His mission, in this sense, extended beyond mere religious tolerance, aiming at the creation of a solid doctrinal foundation on which to build the Christian identity of the Empire. However, the figure and mission of Saint Constantine have been the subject of debates and different interpretations throughout history, reflecting the complexity of his role both as a political leader and as a key figure in the history of Christianity. His conversion, his policies, and his legacy continue to be examined in light of their spiritual, political, and cultural implications. Saint Constantine represents an emblematic figure of the transformation of Christianity from a persecuted movement to a pillar of the cultural and spiritual identity of the Roman Empire. His mission, characterized by a vision that intertwines faith and politics, has left an indelible mark on the history of the Church and the world, inviting us to reflect on the dynamics between power, faith and how these can influence the course of history.

The Saint and Mercy

The figure of Saint Constantine the Great, in the context of mercy, offers a complex and multifaceted perspective that reflects his personal transformation and his impact on the history of Christianity. His conversion to Christianity and subsequent support of the faith reflects a profound spiritual evolution which, in turn, allowed the spread of an ethos of mercy in the Roman Empire, previously characterized by religious persecution. The Edict of Milan, promulgated by Constantine in 313 AD, represents perhaps the most significant act of political mercy in his career, ending persecution of Christians and granting freedom of worship within the empire. This gesture not only demonstrated tolerance and openness towards different faiths, but also marked the beginning of a new era in which mercy and justice became fundamental pillars of society. Mercy, in this context, manifested itself as an act of reconciliation that aimed to heal divisions and build a more cohesive and peaceful community. Saint Constantine, through his church-building policy and his commitment to promoting the unity of the Church, further embodied mercy as an imperial virtue. The creation of sacred spaces dedicated to worship and prayer not only fostered religious practice, but also encouraged the values of forgiveness, compassion, and mutual love among the citizens of the empire. In this way, mercy became an active principle that informed the social and spiritual order. Constantine’s participation in the Council of Nicaea, where he worked to resolve doctrinal disputes and maintain the unity of the Church, also reflected a desire for mercy in the context of internal discord. His intercession aimed to reconcile theological differences in order to preserve peace and cohesion within the Christian community, showing that mercy can be a powerful tool of mediation and healing. However, it is important to note that Constantine’s legacy is complex and sometimes contradictory, reflecting the challenges inherent in his leadership role as he sought to balance Christian ideals with the realities of imperial power. His life and actions continue to stimulate reflections on the nature of mercy, power and conversion, inviting us to explore how these themes intertwine in the ongoing evolution of society and faith. Saint Constantine and his relationship with mercy offer food for thought on the capacity for spiritual and social transformation that derives from the incorporation of values of compassion, tolerance and love. His historical figure invites us to consider how mercy can be exercised not only on an individual level, but also as a guiding principle in the broader spheres of politics and society.


The Greek Church, but not the Latin Church, reserves an important place among its saints for the most famous Constantine in history, that is, the Roman Emperor who recognized Christians’ freedom of worship, and…


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