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    St. Constantine the Great was one of the pagan Emperors of Rome, but set out to restore peace and order when his fellow pagan Emperor Maxentios was tyrannizing much of the western empire.  Just before his battle with Maxentios’ superior forces, Constantine beheld in broad daylight a shining cross on which were inscribed the words, “In this sign, conquer!”  He ordered replicas of this cross to lead before his army, and Maxentios was defeated in 312, leaving Constantine as the sole Emperor of Rome united.

    St. Constantine signed the Edict of Milan in a.d. 313, which stopped the fierce persecution of Christians which was going on under Diocletian.  He moved the seat of the Roman Empire to New Rome, or Constantinople, in a.d. 325 and chaired the First Ecumenical Council in the same year.  St. Constantine died in 337.  St. Helen was the mother of St. Constantine and the consort of the Emperor Constantius (who ruled from a.d. 293 to 306).  She had converted to Christianity earlier.   Later she went to Jerusalem and the Holy Land to discover the sites of many places made sacred by Jesus, and helped build churches there.  She died peacefully in 330.

    Approximately 4.5" x 6"

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    The Three Holy Hierarchs are St. Basil (or Vasili), St. John Chrysostom, and St. Gregory the Theologian.  They all lived a holy and yet public life in the latter part of the 4th century, and were great teachers and theologians.   St. Basil, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, consecrated his former schoolmate Gregory (also known as “Nazianzen” from his hometown) as bishop of Sasima in Cappadocia.  St. Gregory was then called upon to serve as the Patriarch of Constantinople, but resigned this office when a quarrel broke out over his election.

    St. John Chrysostom also served later as the Patriarch of Constantinople and although his sermons were universally lauded (“Chrysostom” means “golden mouth”), his honesty and unbending devotion to the Christian faith caused the Empress Eudoxia to persecute him to death.   When in the 11th century devotion to the three led to partisan rivalries among the Faithful, they appeared in a vision to a holy bishop telling him, “We are one in God,” and charging him with the institution of this common feast.   Truly there are no rivalries in Heaven, but mutual honor and respect instead.


  • 11O30__68211.1316243273.1280.1280
  • 189
    3' x 2 1/2'
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    Christ’s first public miracle was at this wedding in Cana at which His Disciples and His Mother were present.  Christ blessed water to become wine at the request of the Virgin Mary, who told Him that the wine had run out before the wedding guests had left.  When the master of the feast tasted it, not knowing that the wine was miraculously turned by Christ from water, he remarked that the good wine had been left until last.  As always, whatever Christ touches becomes the best within its nature, even something as mundane as wine needed at a wedding feast.

    Tradition tells us that this was the wedding of one of His Disciples, Simon the Zealot, and that Simon left right from his own wedding to follow Him after seeing this miracle.    It is the sign of most of the Apostles that when they were called, they left everything and followed.  May we learn to do the same in our own life. Here at His first miracle we see the close relationship of Christ and His Mother for she says wise words to all who would follow Him, “Whatever He says, do it.”  Amen, Amen, Amen.  This 14th century icon is a fresco from the Decani Monastery in Serbia.

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  • sf44c__99187
  • 1AC10-E__85875.1316243297.319.400
  • 1NC10__26334.1316243300.900.900
  • IC11O30

    Holy Trinity (Rublev)