“In Hoc Signo Vinces ” Constantine (ca.

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280–337). Quoted in the Ecclesiastical history of Eusebius.


Constantine by Bernini

In Hoc Signo Vinces

In ad 312, the Roman realm is up because that grabs. Its previous emperor, Diocletian, separated the realm between two senior and 2 junior emperors, but the facility arrangement has collapsed. The successors are at one another’s throats. Young basic Constantine, kid of Constantius, among Diocletian’s co-emperors, has military successes under his belt, however now he deals with a formidable veteran through a bigger army and a much better strategic position. What shall the do?

Constantine realizes the he needs assist from a power better than himself, but who or what? He has his doubts about the classic Roman gods. That prays earnestly that the true God, everyone that may be, will “reveal come him that he is, and also stretch forth his best hand to assist him.”

He does not understand it yet, yet that prayer will readjust the course of Christian background as well together of west civilization. Later on he will tell his friend Bishop Eusebius the remarkable story of that hour. When Eusebius reports that in his history, the admits the is tough to believe.

What happens the is so difficult to believe? Constantine suddenly sees a bright overcome of irradiate emblazoned against the noonday sky and also upon the the inscription: “In hoc signo vinces” —“In this sign Conquer.”

It brings Constantine the assurance that needs. He accepts this together the answer come his prayer and orders his soldiers come inscribe crosses on your shields. Encouraged by his vision in the heavens, he hurls his troops against his rival Maxentius at Rome’s Milvian Bridge. Surprisingly, Constantine is victorious. Maxentius is amongst those who drown in the Tiber.

Afterward Constantine does no forget to who he owes his victory. Because that close to 2 hundred and also fifty years, since advertisement 64 when Nero initiated violence versus it, the Christian church has actually been a persecuted minority in roman inn lands. Just a few years earlier, between 303 and 311, it experienced through Diocletian’s savage “Great Persecution.” now Constantine problems orders that the Christian church is to it is in tolerated simply as other religions are. Although he does not make Christianity the official religion the the empire, Constantine bestows favor on it, builds areas of worship for Christians, and presides over the first general church council. He i do not care the an initial emperor to embrace Christianity and will be baptized on his death bed—waiting so so late for are afraid his duties as emperor might reason him to sin after the receives the solemn rite, blotting out its efficacy.

Writing Constantine’s biography, Eusebius will explain him together God’s gift come a experiencing church. His Greek account will give the quote just as “Conquer through this.”

For the first time in its short history, the church have the right to worship and also grow without consistent fear of deadly persecution.

—Dan Graves

Dig a small Deeper

Aland, Kurt. Saints and also Sinners: Men and also Ideas in the early Church. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970.Barnes, Timothy David. Constantine and Eusebius. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard college Press, 1981.“Constantine the good and His Sons.” New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of spiritual Knowledge. cool Rapids: Baker book House, 1954.Durant, Will. Caesar and also Christ. brand-new York: Simon and also Schuster, 1944.Eusebius Pamphilus. Church History.

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The Nicene and also Post Nicene Fathers the the Christian Church, Vol. Ns Eusebius Pamphilus: Church History; Life that Constantine; Oration in prayer of Constantine, edited through Philip Schaff. Cool Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman’s, reprinted from the 1891 edition.Herbermann, Charles G. And also Georg Grupp. “Constantine the Great.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. new York: Robert Appleton, 1914.