November 8/21: Canons for the Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Michael

The Canon I to the Bodiless Hosts, the acrostic whereof is: “O ye divinely wise, let us solemnize praise to the assembly of the incorporeal ones …,” the composition of John the Monk, of Damascus

Ode, I Irmos: Let us, O ye people, send up a hymn * unto our wondrous God * Who hath freed Israel from bondage, * chanting a hymn of victory * and crying aloud:* We sing unto Thee, O only Master.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Ye faithful let us all hymn the uncreated Trinity, Who doth govern all the immaterial ranks of the heavenly choirs, crying aloud: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O Almighty God!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Creator of the angels, Thou didst set as a beginning to Thy creations the immaterial essence which doth surround Thy most honored throne that it might cry out to Thee: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O Almighty God!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Rejoice, O Gabriel, initiate of the mystery of the incarnation of God, and Michael, foremost among the immaterial ranks, who unceasingly cry out: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O Almighty God!

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

I tremble before the mystery of Thy condescension, O Christ; for, God in essence, Thou didst deign to be born from the Virgin as a man, that Thou mightest save the world from slavery to the enemy.

Canon II to the Bodiless Hosts, also the Composition of John of Damascus

Ode I, Irmos: The wonderworking staff of Moses, * striking and dividing the sea in the figure of a cross, * once drowned Pharaoh the pursuing charioteer, * while it saved the fleeing people of Israel * as they fled on foot, * chanting a hymn unto God.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Come ye, and, joining chorus, let us praise the noetic choirs of the incorporeal ranks, for they are divine ministers who unceasingly pray for our salvation and rejoice over our repentance.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

The chief captains of the angels, chosen before others, the valiant commanders, the incorporeal intelligences, today arise for the celebration of the feast of their radiant memory. With them we also rejoice, offering a hymn to the Trinity.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O ye people, with spiritual joy let us be glad today with the angels, for Gabriel again announceth glad tidings: the union of the Churches and the destruction of all adverse heresies, in the commemoration of the supreme commanders.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O most pure one, through the Holy Spirit thou hast given birth unto the Word of the Father, Who transcending nature made His abode within thee, being of two natures and wills, yet immutably one in hypostasis; and Whose countenance we venerate.

Ode II, Irmos: Thy fear, O Lord, do Thou plant * in the hearts of Thy servants * and be Thou the confirmation of us * who in truth call upon Thee.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

With strength, O Immortal One, hast Thou appointed the mighty ones who fulfill Thine all-holy will, ever standing before Thee in the highest.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Christ, accept those who pray on our behalf, the commanders of the angels, initiates of the mystery of Thine incarnation and Thine honored Resurrection.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thou hast appointed angels as guardians for all mankind, in that Thou art compassionate; and Thou hast shown forth the ministers of the salvation of Thy favored ones.

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

O Bride of God, thou hast ineffably conceived the Lord and Savior, Who delivereth from evil those who call upon thee in truth.

Another Irmos: O Lord, thou art the confirmation of those who flee to Thee, * Thou art the Light of those in darkness, * and my spirit doth hymn Thee.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Michael, chief captain, foremost among the angels, as a secondary luminary of the Trinity hast thou revealed thyself to those who faithfully praise thee.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Having proclaimed the coming of God in the flesh, Gabriel faithfully filled the whole world with the effulgence of divine grace.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O ever-hymned couple, radiant and immaterial pair, show forth the light of God upon those who faithfully celebrate your memory.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O pure one, Isaiah hymned thine Offspring, Who transcendeth nature; and I too sing, that I may obtain His cleansing.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Sessional Hymn, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel.: “That which was commanded …”: O ye captains of the heavenly hosts, foremost among those who are enthroned on high, and awesome in divine glory, O Michael and Gabriel, supreme commanders, chief captains of the angels, and all ye bodiless ones, ministers of the Master: praying unceasingly on behalf of the world, ask for the remission of the sins we have committed, and that we may find mercy and grace on the day of Judgment. (Twice)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Theotokion in Tone VIII: O pure and blessed one, who art full of divine grace, out of the compassion of thy tender compassion, with the hosts on high, the archangels and all the bodiless powers, unceasingly entreat Him Who was born from thee, that, before the end, He mercifully grant us forgiveness of sins and correction of life, that we may find mercy.

Ode IV, Irmos: Thou didst mount Thy steeds O Lord, * Thine apostles, * and taking their bridles in Thy hands, * Thy chariot became salvation unto those who sing with faith: * Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thou didst mount the angels like steeds, O Lover of mankind, and taking their bridles in Thy hand, Thy chariot became salvation unto those who unceasingly cry aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thy virtue covereth the angels, O Lover of mankind, and with Thy divine, glorious praise, O Beginningless One, filleth the ends of the earth, which cry out with them: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thou didst go forth unto the salvation of Thy people, O compassionate Christ, summoning Thy friends, the powers; and Thy coming hath been gladness unto all who faithfully cry aloud: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

Thou hast been supra-naturally revealed to be both Virgin and Mother, O all-pure one; for thou hast given birth to Christ, both God and man, to Whom the ranks of the angels cry out with fear: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!

Another Irmos: Thou, O Lord, art my strength and Thou art my power, * Thou art my God and Thou art my joy, * Thou Who, while never leaving the bosom of Thy Father, * hast visited our poverty. * Therefore with the Prophet Habbakuk I cry unto Thee, * ‘Glory to Thy power, O Lover of mankind!’

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

In Jericho of old the great Michael, supreme commander of the hosts of the Lord and chief among the bodiless ones, appeared unto Joshua, son of Nun, who was waging war, and he gave them victory, fighting for him; and the servant of God, receiving power from him, conquering them with the spear by which the enemy was captured.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Once the great Gabriel, the truly divine archangel, chief among the bodiless hosts, appeared, bearing the glad tidings of a child to Zechariah the priest. Wherefore, the voice of the Word, who was born John, restoreth the voice of prophecy to his own father.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

All the ends of the earth rejoice today with exceeding joy, O God, celebrating the honored memory of Thine archangels, the divine Michael and Gabriel of divine wisdom. And together with them all the ranks of angels rejoice, for by their protection the world is preserved.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Thou alone didst remain pure after giving birth, and only thou hast been shown to be without husband, O thou that with milk didst nourish the true Word of the Father, Who through the Holy Spirit assumed our form, that of a servant, O Virgin Theotokos. And venerating the divine likeness of His countenance, Him do we honour.

Ode V, Irmos: Guide me out of the night of ignorance * with the light of Thine understanding, O Lord, * for I am lost on the path that ensnares the soul, * and direct me to the way of Thy commandments.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Borne up to the heights by inexorable longing for Thee, O Christ, Thou ultimate of all desires, the angelic powers unceasingly glorify Thee.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thou hast made Thine angels noetic by nature and incorrupt by Thy grace, that they may hymn Thy majesty, O Christ, having fashioned them according to Thine image, O Unapproachable One.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Through their nearness to Thee, O Christ, Thou hast kept Thy servants un-inclined towards evil, for Thou art the Source of all goodness, and Thou doest good unto those who serve Thee as is meet.

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

Enliven my soul which hath been slain by vile passions, O all- immaculate one, for thou hast given birth unto the Preserver of life, and direct it to the path of eternal and blessed life.

Another Irmos: O Light never-waning, * why hast Thou turned Thy face from me * and why hath the alien darkness surrounded me, * wretched though I be? * But do Thou guide my steps I implore Thee * and turn me back towards the light of Thy commandments.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

When, of old, Balaam the prophet refused to submit to the ineffable and divine wonders of God, an angel appeared to his donkey at the crossroads and strangely denounced him, showing his irrational animal to be unnaturally rational.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

When Peter had been arrested and languished in prison, an angel of God appeared, delivering him from the hands of Herod, from bonds and death. Wherefore, come ye, let us all honor the wise angels as divine protectors of our souls.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O angels and archangels, ye divine powers of God, by your ever-offered supplications to God put an end to the uproar of battles, heresies in the Church and all temptations, and maintain us in peace.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

We know Thee to be the God of creation: One in two natures, two actions and wills, though uncommingled, the Son of God Who took flesh from a woman, whose image depicted in Icons we venerate.

Ode VI, Irmos: Thou O Lord, didst place Jonah alone within the sea monster. * Do Thou save me, * who am ensnared in the nets of the enemy, * as thou didst save him from corruption.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

By Thy Word, O Lord, Thou didst in a godly manner bring the heavenly beings, the immortal hosts, out of non-existence, making them luminous.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Honoured initiates of the mysteries of the praise of God have ye been, O incorporeal ones, citizens of heaven, truly divine tabernacles, who serve the Creator as is meet.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thee, O beginningless Son of God, do the noetic ranks of the bodiless ones unceasingly praise and glorify as the Creator and Fashioner of all things.

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

O most pure one, thou hast been deemed worthy to cradle in thine embrace Him Who eternally sitteth with the Father in the highest. Render Him merciful unto us, thy servants, O pure one.

Another Irmos: Cleanse me, O Savior, * for many are mine iniquities; * lead me up from the abyss of evils I pray Thee, * for unto Thee have I cried, * and Thou hast hearkened unto me, * O God of my salvation.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Taking flight in mind away from material corruption, let us with fear honor the immaterial ones who are bodiless like flames of fire and light, chanting hymns unto them with lips of clay.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Calm the tempests of the passions, O archangels, and quell all revolts against the Faith, for ye are the holy and fiery chief commanders of the Trinity.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O captains Michael and Gabriel, ye chief commanders and archangels of God, leaders of the bodiless ones, preserve us from all heresies by your protection.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O Christ, being incorporeal in that Thou art God, Thou didst manifest Thyself incarnate from the womb of her who knew not a man, and, as man, thou wast a bearer of our flesh, Whose likeness we honour, O ye faithful.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Kontakion, in Tone II: Supreme Leaders of God’s armies * and ministers of the divine glory, * princes of the bodiless Angels and guides of mankind, * ask ye for that which is beneficial for us, and for great mercy, ** as Supreme Leaders of the Bodiless Hosts.

Ikos: In Thy Scriptures, O immortal Lover of mankind, Thou didst say that a multitude of angels rejoiceth in heaven over one man that repenteth. Wherefore, O- Sinless One, Who alone knowest the hearts of all people, amid our transgressions we ever make bold to beseech Thee to have compassion and send down compunction upon us, unworthy though we be, granting us forgiveness, O Master; in that Thou art compassionate, for the supreme commanders of the bodiless host entreat Thee on behalf of us all.

Ode VII, Irmos: The Hebrew children in the furnace * boldly trampled upon the flames, * changing the fire into dew, they cried aloud: * ‘Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, throughout the ages’.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Compassionate One, Thou didst reveal the immaterial essence of Thine angels to be light, for they are unceasingly filled with Thine ineffable light, crying aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God, throughout the ages!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

The myriads of ministering angels cannot endure to behold the sight of the Countenance before which they unceasingly stand, crying aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God, throughout the ages!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Thou didst create the nature of the angels by Thy hypostatic Word, and having sanctified it by the divine Spirit, O God, Thou didst teach it to bless the Trinity throughout all ages.

Most Holy Trinity our God, glory to Thee.

Mindful of the three hypostases, we glorify the un-circumscribed essence of the Father, the Son and the Spirit, crying aloud: Blessed art Thou, O God, throughout the ages!

Another Irmos: The Children of Judaea, * who of old came to dwell in Babylon, * trampled underfoot the flame of the furnace * through their faith in the Trinity, * as they sang: ‘O God of our fathers, blessed art Thou.’

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Come ye, O human race, and with the choirs of the bodiless ones let us worship, celebrating on this auspicious day the memory of the wise archangels of Christ, singing: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O God of our fathers!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Of old, Abraham the God-seer, and the glorious Lot, gave shelter to the angels, in that they were hospitable, and they found fellowship with the angels, crying: Holy, holy, holy art Thou, O God of our fathers!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

To the valiant Manoah and the most wise Tobit appeared the angels who give rewards for the struggles of life as is meet; and once the Angel of the children quenched the flame in the fiery furnace.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

All that is ours by nature didst Thou take from the Virgin, except change, O Jesus, and with the fathers we proclaim Thee to be of two natures, but One in hypostasis; and, depicting the visage thereof, we faithfully venerate it.

Ode VIII, Irmos: Glorified in the holy mountain, * the Lord revealed the mystery of the Ever-Virgin unto Moses * in the flames of the burning bush: * praise ye and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Let us emulate the life of the angels and wing our thoughts to the heights, and with them let us immaterially chant unto the Lord, hymning and supremely exalting Him throughout all ages!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

The angels, heavenly members of the chorus which doth surround the throne of glory and ever dance about God, hymn and supremely exalt Him throughout all ages!

Most Holy Trinity our God, glory to Thee.

The Trinity, which unceasingly maketh its ministers a flame of immate- rial fire in the highest and doth show forth its angels as spirits, let us worship and glorify throughout all ages.

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

Him before Whom myriads of angels and archangels stand in trepidation wast thou deemed worthy to bear in thine arms, O Theotokos, pray thou that those who glorify Him may be saved throughout all ages.

Another Irmos: In his wrath the Chaldean Tyrant made the furnace blaze, * with heat fanned sevenfold for the servants of God; * but when he perceived that they had been saved by a greater power * he cried aloud to the Creator and Redeemer; * ‘ye children bless, ye priests praise, * ye people, supremely exalt Him throughout all ages’.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Michael the archangel is chief among the angels; but with him Gabriel is also radiantly glorified as the initiate of the mystery of grace, the honored one who obtained the consent of the Virgin, the champion leader of the bodiless ones; and they both proclaim joy unto those who cry: O ye people, exalt Christ supremely throughout all ages!

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Ezekiel, beholding the ranks of angels in their divers forms, proclaimed, prophesying: ‘Among them six-winged seraphim stood in intercession, and many-eyed cherubim surrounded them; and with them I saw most radiant archangels glorifying Christ throughout all ages’.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

How the dread coming of Thy second Judgment will be was foretold by Daniel in revelation: ‘The thrones were set, and the Ancient One sat, and He let in the myriads of angels who stand with fear and cry out with incessant voices to the Trinity throughout all ages’.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

The Word, Who is consubstantial with the Father and the Spirit, of His own will manifested Himself from the Virgin is like unto us, not mingling one with the other of the two natures of His awesome union. For He showed Himself to be One and the Same in both, in two natures, and one hypostasis. And now we bow down before the image of His likeness.

Ode IX, Irmos: Thou hast passed the limits of nature, * having conceived the Maker and the Lord, * and didst become a door of salvation * unto the world; * wherefore we unceasingly magnify thee, O Theotokos.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Christ, Who hast ineffably united those who are in heaven with those who are on earth, and made one Church of angels and mortals, Thee do we unceasingly magnify.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O ye angels and archangels, thrones, virtues and dominions, principalities and powers, cherubim and seraphim: pray ye with the Theotokos on behalf of the world.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Michael and Gabriel, who are shown to be leaders of all, visit those who with love honor your most festive memory and faithfully cry aloud: Save us from all evil circumstances!

Most Holy Lady, Theotokos, save us.

Rejoice, O holy bride of God! Rejoice, thou that didst give birth unto the Light of the world for the faithful! Rejoice, rampart and shelter of us all! Do thou unceasingly entreat God on our behalf, for He is our Benefactor.

Another Irmos: Saved by thee, O pure Virgin, * we confess thee to be truly the Theotokos, * and together with the choirs of the bodiless hosts * thee do we magnify.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

Ye have shown yourselves to be champions for the infirm, for those who sail the sea and those who are in need, O Michael and Gabriel, first among the bodiless hosts.

All ye Bodiless Powers of Heaven, pray to God for us.

O Gabriel, in that thou dost hold chorus with the divine powers and thrones, and art the champion leader of the angels and an initiate of the mysteries of God, pray thou to the Saviour for us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

In that ye are the protectors of the world and commanders of the hosts on high, entreat ye the Saviour on our behalf.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Together we glorify thee, O Theotokos, for thou dost save us from the passions and dost fulfill those of our supplications which are to our benefit.

Troparion of the Angels, Tone IV: O supreme commanders of the heavenly hosts, * we entreat you unworthy as we are, * that by your prayers, you will encompass us * with the protection of the wings of your immaterial glory * preserving us who fall down before you and earnestly cry aloud: * deliver us from all misfortunes, ** for ye are the commanders of the hosts on high.

The Exaltation of the Honourable and Life-Giving Cross

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings to you all, as we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Honourable and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord.

Yesterday, we celebrated the forefeast in Cardiff, hence the red vestments of the clergy, and Sunday also marked the Dedication of the Church of the Resurrection (the Holy Sepulchre) in Jerusalem, within whose sacred complex the topography of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection have been enshrined – though much altered by excavation and the clearance of rock and earth.

As on other feasts of the Cross, we combine celebration and fasting, as we contemplate the Saviour’s transformation of the wood of execution and shame into the Tree of Life, shattering the gates of death and hell and opening the doors of Paradise to all believers through His obedience to the way of the Cross, embracing it in love.

The Church Fathers contemplated and hymned this wonder with awe, as Christ’s humility, obedience, selflessness and love overturned the curse of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and the disobedience of the first-parents, and the Cross became not only the Tree of Life, but the key to the Gates of Paradise.

St John of Damascus wrote that, “For by nothing else except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, has death been brought low, the sin of our first parents destroyed, hell plundered, resurrection bestowed, the power given us to despise the things of this world and even death itself, the road back to the former blessedness made smooth, the gates of paradise opened, our nature seated at the right hand of God, and we made children and heirs of God.”

Let us all celebrate this wonder, and though I have to work throughout the coming nights and am unable to celebrate the feast with parishioners, I look forward to us celebrating the afterfeast before the Precious Cross this coming Sunday, and remind you that in our homes we should all be celebrating the Exaltation.

In every Christian home, the Cross may be honoured and adorned with flowers, as we offer our prayers and celebrate the feast.

May God bless you on this feast, and may the Cross, as the Invincible Trophy and the Tree of Life be at the centre of your homes and families, and the axis of your spiritual life.

With love in Christ – Hieromonk Mark

Synaxarion for the Exaltation

Of the Honorable and Life-Creating Cross1

Constantine the Great and Equal to the Apostles, first among the emperors of ancient Rome, accepted Christianity. While in the midst of battle, according to some against Magnentius in Rome, or according to others against the Scythians at the Danube River,2 he saw that the armies of the enemy were greater in number than his own, and this caused distress and fear. Finding himself in this situation, there appeared in the afternoon the form of the Cross in the sky, marked by stars. And encircling the Cross were letters, also inscribed by stars in Roman, namely Latin letters,3 which said the following: “Conquer by this.”

Straightway there was fashioned a Cross,4 like the one that appeared in the sky, and he ordered for it to go before the army. Engaging the enemy, they mightily conquered, to the point that most of them were killed. The others left in fear. The power of the Crucified One was therefore understood by this miracle, and he believed that He was the true God, and he was baptized with his mother.5

He then sent his mother Helen to Jerusalem, first of all, to venerate and honour with more brilliance the life-giving Tomb of the Lord, and the rest of the Holy Land. Also, to hastily seek and find the honourable Cross of the God-man Savior. For this she investigated with fervent longing, and she found it hidden. Likewise, she found the two crosses on which the thieves were crucified. She also found the nails.6 The empress was confused, however, as to which of three was the Cross of the Lord. She discovered which it was by a miracle, when it raised a dead widow woman after the Cross of the Lord touched her. The other two crosses of the thieves did not perform the miracle.7

Then she kissed and venerated the honourable Cross with great reverence and faith, not only the empress Helen, but also all the officials with her. Because all the Christians sought to kiss and venerate it, it was not possible to fulfil their desire due to the large crowd, so they sought alternatively to merely see the sweet vision of the honourable Cross, and so by this vision their longing would be satisfied. Wherefore the then blessed Patriarch of Jerusalem Makarios went up onto the ambon, and lifted high with his two hands the honourable Cross, showing it to all the Christians found below. Straightway when they saw it, together they cried out from their heart: “Lord have mercy.” From then on it was established by the most divine and God-inspired Fathers of the Church, for all Christians to celebrate on this day, this honourable and universal Exaltation of the divine Cross, to the glory of Christ our true God for Whom they gather.

Notes:

1. This synaxarion is from the 10th century Synaxarion of Constantinople. Translation and notes by John Sanidopoulos.

2. The most reliable research indicates that this battle was neither against Magnentius or the Scythians, but against Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge. Also, sources indicate that Constantine became a Christian before this battle through his son Crispus, who was a Christian, after presenting him with certain books of his father who was a Christian.

3. Some sources say the letters were in Latin, while others, like Emperor Leo the Wise and Paisios of Gaza, say they were in Greek.

4. After the vision of the Cross in the sky, that night Constantine saw Christ in a vision, Who told him to place the form of the Cross he saw on his spear.

5. There used to be a false opinion that Pope Sylvester of Rome catechized and baptized Constantine, but these documents were proved to be papal forgeries. Rather, it is believed Helen was already a Christian, while Constantine put off his baptism in order to be baptized in the Jordan River, which he was never able to accomplish, therefore he was baptized by Eusebius of Nicomedia before his repose in Constantinople.

6. These nails were brought by Helen to Constantinople, as a gift to her son. One was placed in the bridle of his horse, to fulfil the prophecy of Zachariah 14:20, “On that day Holy to the Lord Almighty will be inscribed on the bridle of the horses.” The second was placed in his battle helmet. The third, according to Ambrose, was thrown by Helen into the Adriatic Sea in order to calm a storm, though Dositheos of Jerusalem does not believe this story. Socrates says that the Cross and Nails were placed in the pillar of the statue of Constantine in Constantinople, to protect the City. Some say there were only three nails, while others say they were four, with two nails used for each foot rather than one nail for both feet.

7. Euthymios Zygabenos says that the true Cross of the Lord was distinguished by the inscription of Pilate over one of the crosses that said Christ was King of the Jews. Also, some say that the woman was near death and immediately healed, while others say fragrant basil grew over the location of the actual Cross of Christ. The finding of the Cross is celebrated on March 6th. The two crosses of the thieves were brought to Constantinople and placed in a porphyry pillar in the forum, with other relics.