One of the most important people in history is the Founder of Christendom, Constantine. This admirable emperor and exceptional military commander is the ideal example of how God uses even non-Christian men to bring Him greater glory and honor.
Though born of a saint, Contantine postponed baptism until his deathbed. But God chose him, an imperfect instrument, to be the means through which pagan Rome would fall and become the center of Christendom.
During the last years of the Roman Empire, there were three caesars. Two of them were low moral pagans and the third was the young Constantine who was under house arrest to one of the other ceasars. He was given release upon a weak moment of his captor, and Constantine ran for his life and for the future of the Empire.
No one could pursue him because he had chosen the best horse and had hamstrung the others. Within the next few years God would take care of all Constantine's enemies and the road to ruling as the only Augustus was open to our young hero.
Advisors urged Constantine not to attack Rome but an Authority far greater than these called him to action. Shortly after this, Constantine saw a cross in the sky and the words: In this sign you will conquer.
He ordered his men to carry the Chi Rho, or christogram, on their shields into battle and these Christ inspired words became his standard. Then putting his trust in Christ, Constantine marched on Italy. He personally led the attack on the Ceasar Maxentius.
When he marched in triumph into Rome, he did not issue the order to slaughter his enemies which was customary among pagan conquerers. Instead, he called the Edict of Milan through which religious freedom became law. For the first time in history, Sunday was made into a festival day, gladiatorial fights were forbidden, and crucifixion was abolished.
Constantine had set up a society where the laws conformed with the laws of God and honored Christian principles. This kind of society is called Christendom and that makes Constantine the founder of Christendom.
Constintine's mother, St. Helena, surely deserves much of the credit for this official victory of Christianity. Like St. Monica, her faith and patience were rewarded both on earth and now in Heaven.