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Religion Bulletin: Constantine’s vision of cross leads to victory at Milvian Bridge

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RELIGIOUS EVENTS IN HISTORY

Roman Emperor Constantine sees a vision of the cross before the Battle of Milvian Bridge on Oct. 28, 312.

On Oct. 28, 312, Roman emperor Constantine defeats Maxentius at Milvian Bridge to take control of the Roman Empire. According to early Christian author Lactantius, before the battle “Constantine was directed in a dream to cause the heavenly sign to be delineated on the shields of his soldiers, and so to proceed to battle. He did as he had been commanded, and he marked on their shields the letter X, with a perpendicular line drawn through it and turned round thus at the top, being the cipher of Christ.” On his march to battle, Constantine is said to have had a vision in which “he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription, ‘In Hoc Singo Vinces’ (‘with this sign, you shall win’).” After a brief battle in which Constantine’s forces routed their opponents, the new emperor entered Rome on Oct. 29 and was met with cheers. Because of his victory and his belief in seeing the cross before battle, Constantine became the first emperor to stop the persecution of Christians and to legalize Christianity, along with all other religions and cults in the Roman Empire. Although Constantine is traditionally thought to have converted to Christianity soon after the battle, Christian authors state that he was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian.

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RELIGION CALENDAR

Oct. 25: Dussehra (Hindu)

Oct. 28: Mawlid (Islamic)

Oct. 31: Samhain (Pagan and Wiccan)

Nov. 1: All Saints Day (Christian)

Nov. 2: Anniversary of the Crowning of Haile Selassie (Rastafarian)

Nov. 12: Birthday of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)

Nov. 14: Diwali (Hindu)

Nov. 15: New Year (Jain)

Nov. 30: St. Andrew’s Day (Roman Catholic)

Nov. 30: Guru Nanak Ji’s birthday (Sikh)

Dec. 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic)

Dec. 8: Bodhi Day (Buddha’s Enllightenment) (Buddhist)

GOOD BOOK?

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Filled with beautiful photography and inspirational writing, “The Gathering Table” follows this Iowa farm family through a year of gatherings that strengthen relationships, establish and deepen family traditions, and showcase God’s gift of great food.

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"The Gathering Table: Growing Strong Relationships through Food, Faith, and Hospitality" [Revell]

THE WORD

Vipassana: Pronounced “vih-PAHS-suh-nah.” In Theravada Buddhism, a profound, nonjudgmental self-awareness practiced in meditation.

- ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

Tonga

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of New Tonga is:

- Protestant: 64.1%

- Mormon: 18.6%

- Roman Catholic: 14.2%

- Other: 2.4%

- None: 0.5%

- Unspecified: 0.1%

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