Archbishop Makarios of Australia celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of Saints Constantine and Helena in Newtown, Sydney.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated with a limited number of believers, in accordance with the precautionary measures against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Archbishop Makarios addressed the congregation and stressed that it would take days to describe the lives and accomplishments of Saints Constantine and Helena. He nevertheless focused on the important contribution of Constantine the Great to humanity.
He recalled that under Constantine the Great Sunday was adopted as a day of rest and that his successors had followed his example, as well as political leaders in Europe, America, Australia and almost worldwide. “They decided that Sunday would be a holiday. People would have the right to take their time, not to commit any sin but to worship God. Constantine the Great was the first who declared Sunday as a holiday,” the Archbishop pointed out in homily.
Secondly, Constantine the Great implemented policies to consider family as a social institution. For the first time, under Constantine the Great, large families were receiving allowances and mothers were receiving financial aid. These are common practices adopted by modern states,” the Archbishop of Australia explained.
He also spoke of the Edict of Milan, under which the persecution against Christians ended. He explained that the Edict of Milan provided that every human being was free to believe and worship the God he wanted, in the way he wanted, as long as he did not harm his neighbour. Unfortunately, it is something that is not evident nowadays.
In conclusion, Archbishop Makarios of Australia referred to the decision of Constantine the Great to abolish the worship of the God-Emperor and to his baptism.