Christians of the Eastern rite celebrate the Day of St Constantine and Helena

Христиане восточного обряда отмечают День равноапостольных Константина и Елены

June 3, Christians of the Eastern rite celebrate the Day of equal to the apostles Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena.

The Emperor known as Constantine the Great, he was the son of Caesar Constantius Chlorus (305-306), who ruled the countries of Gaul and Britain. The Roman Empire was then divided into West and East, at the head of each of which were two independent of the Emperor, who had co-rulers, one of whom was the father of Constantine.

Queen Helena, mother of Constantine, was a Christian. Son, she was raised to respect Christianity, and his father did not persecute Christians, though the rest of the Roman Empire, they were persecuted by the rulers.

After the death of his father in 306, Constantine was proclaimed ruler of Gaul and Britain. One of the first decrees was to permit the free profession of Christianity.

An ardent pagan Maximian Galerius in the East and the tyrant of Maxentius in the West hated the Emperor Constantine, and wanted to overthrow him and kill him, but Constantine during the war smashed all opponents.

Becoming the sole ruler of the Western Roman Empire Constantine in the year 313 issued the edict of Milan on religious tolerance, and in the year 323, when he became the single ruler of the Roman Empire, he extended the edict of Milan and the Eastern part of it.

Renouncing paganism, the Emperor moved the capital of Empire to Byzantium. Constantine believed that to unite the Empire can only be Christianity. So he wanted to find a Christian relic – the true cross on which Jesus was crucified Christ. At the request of the son Helen went to Jerusalem in search of the cross together with the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Macarius, and they succeeded.

Part of the cross Elena left the Patriarch, and some took with him and returned to Byzantium. Here she died in the year 327.

By the decree of Constantine over the cave of the Holy Sepulchre was built a large temple. But inside the Church the world was badly shaken due to the emergence of heresies. So, in the East arose the heresy of Arius, who denied the divinity of Christ.