St. Constantine the Great with his Mother Helen
Commemorated on May 21
Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
At the time of the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325 A.D.], the quarreling clerics wrote accusations one against the other and presented them to the emperor. Emperor Constantine received all of these accusations and not opening them, burned them over a flaming candle. To the amazement of those around him, the emperor said: “If I would see with my own eyes a bishop, a priest or a monk in a sinful act, I would cover him with my cloak, so that no one would ever see his sin.” Thus, this great Christian emperor embarrassed the scandalmongers and sealed their mouths. Our Faith prohibits us to be spies of the sins of others and stresses that we be merciless judges of our own sins. The sick person in the hospital is concerned with his own particular malady so that he has neither the will nor the time to question others who are ill or to mock their illness. Are we not all in this world as patients in a hospital? Does not our own common sense underline that we look at our own illness and not at another’s illness? Let no one think that they will be cured of their illness in the other world. This world is merely a hospital and a place for healing and, in that world, there is no hospital; there is only a mansion or only a prison.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date April 22, and New Calendar date May 5.
Troparion — Tone 8
Having seen the figure of the Cross in the heavens, / and like Paul not having received his call from men, O Lord, / Your apostle among rulers, the Emperor Constantine, / has been set by Your hand as ruler over the Imperial City / that he preserved in peace for many years, / through the prayers of the Theotokos, O only lover of mankind.