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The Emperor Constantine the Great was the son of Constantius Chlorus, who ruled the western part of the Roman Empire (Britain and Gaul) and St. Helena the Equal of the Apostles. 18-year-old he was taken by the Emperor Diocletian to Nicomedia, where he saw the persecution and firmness of Christians.
In 306, after the death of the emperor Constantius, Constantine returned to Gaul and was proclaimed emperor. Once, before the battle with the tyrant Maxentius, Constantine saw a sign: a shining cross with the inscription: "Sim conquer" (in Greek NIKA). At night in the dream the Lord appeared to him and said that by this sign Constantine would defeat the enemy. By order of Constantine on all banners were made images of the cross. Having won, Constantine solemnly entered Rome and on the square ordered to place his statue with a cross in his right hand and with the inscription: "By this saving banner I saved the city from the yoke of the tyrant."
In 313 Constantine issued the Edict of Milan on toleration, and in 323, when he became emperor over the entire Roman Empire, extended the effect of the edict to the entire territory. After three hundred years of persecution, Christians for the first time were able to openly confess their faith. Constantine the Great moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium (Constantinople), supported the Church, built churches, and soon sent his mother Equal-to-the-Apostles Helen to Jerusalem in search of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord, and in 326 the cross was miraculously acquired. In 325, at the First Ecumenical Council, at which Nicholas the Wonderworker was present, in Nicaea Constantine condemned Heresy's heresy and proposed the definition of "the One-Essential Father" in the Creed, permanently securing the truth about the Divinity of Jesus Christ.
On the icon, the Equal-to-the-Apostles Tsar Constantine is depicted in military armor raising in the right hand the life-giving cross, applying the left hand to the heart.