The Service of Resurrection at Saint Luke Orthodox Cathedral in Hong Kong. Christ is Risen!
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I would like to thank the All-Good God and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America from the bottom of my heart for the highly honourable opportunity to partake of the joy of the celebration of these young theologians’ graduation from the School of Theology of Boston and I am deeply moved indeed to be here in your midst.
Below is an excellent article by Fr. George Metallinos that portrays the truth about Constantine the Great and shows with conviction why the Orthodox Church honors him as a Saint and “Equal of the Apostles”. It also answers the numerous critics of Constantine, among whom accuse him as being one of the most evil men in history.
The very name of Constantine is enough to move the heart of any Christian. It moves us because the first to bear the name Constantine I, the Great, was not merely one of the greatest men in world history, but he was something more besides: a saint.
The Church calls St Constantine (306-337) “the Equal of the Apostles,” and historians call him “the Great.” He was the son o the Caesar Constantius Chlorus (305-306), who governed the lands of Gaul and Britain. His mother was St Helen, a Christian of humble birth.
Keynote Address by Ecumenical Patriarch at the Official Opening of the Seminar on the 1700th Anniversary since the Edict of Milan
We glorify the risen Christ and express our gratitude to all of you as delegates of the holy Orthodox Churches and to our venerable brother First-Hierarchs for your participation in this celebration, which is a tribute of honor to the divinely-crowned Emperor Constantine, who is truly one of very few Great Saints – for “whoever among you wishes to be great must be servant of all” (Matt. 20:26-27), according to the scripture. He was the first to grant freedom to the Church and to the world, the first to put an end to the ruthless persecutions against the Church.
This year marks the 1700th anniversary since the issue of the Edict of Milan about religious freedom. Therefore, we are communicating to the Church in all places and times in order to address a message of hope, love, peace and optimism from the most holy Apostolic and Patriarchal Ecumenical Throne in as much as the Church is the continual presence of God.
The resurrection of the Lord is the regeneration of human nature. It is the resuscitation and re-creation of the first Adam, whom sin led to death, and who because of death, again was made to retrace his steps on the earth from which he was made. The resurrection is the return to immortal life. Whereas no one saw that first man when he was created and given life—because no man existed yet at that time—woman was the first person to see him after he had received the breath of life by divine inbreathing.
As recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (16:12-30), Lydia of Philippi was the Apostle Paul’s first convert to Christianity in Europe. Her conversion came after hearing Paul’s words in Philippi proclaiming the Gospel of Christ during his second missionary journey.
Some 1,700 years have passed since Emperor Constantine granted Christians the right to believe in God, yet “the persecution of Christians has not ceased;” thus, “the Church of Christ will never cease to generate martyrs” until God “enlightens everyone, so that they understand that peace, reconciliation, tolerance, meekness, and mercy can only have a positive effect on human society in general, especially in terms of deeds and words.”