“Constantine bestowed vast estates in and around the city on Christians families, to lure them into his domain, with the result that in time Constantinople became a center of Christianity, a second capital based on purely on Christianity principles, in the heart of the heathen empire,” Johanna had written.
“Constantine the Great was the only child of a marriage of pure love,” Johanna wrote. Constantine, though was married twice, it was his mother Helena a true believer of God.
“Helena was the Emperor’s right hand in affairs of state, and supported him in his high policy of mediator between the hostile elements of the Empire, and of protector of the persecuted Christians. Small wonder then, that the Roman Empire flourished and prosperous at this time under the beneficent influence of these two remarkable people, as it had never done before; small wonder that this period is marked by an exalted idealism which acted as leavening powder on the whole world.”
Johanna goes on to write about Helena’s search of the Holy Land, which they manage to visit. They made the pilgrimage, which was not easy in those days, but they eventually arrived to the sacred soil. And all the while, Constantine’s life was plagued with visions as he was given the gift of sight.
In the Holy Land, they hoped to find relics or any of the lost sites, but the Lord had buried them deep within the sands, below the rubbish, and under three generations. Constantine had a vision telling him where the Holy Sepulcher had been and pointed where a platform had been built for the heathen goddess, Venus. For ten years, he had builders and architects work on excavating the sepulcher which nestled underneath rocks and sand was the remains of something Holy.
“Helena’s church was built on Mount Olives, and other stately structures rose wherever sacred sites were to be found in Bethlehem and in the garden of Gethsemane. The consecration of these vastly impressive buildings took place ten years after they were begun, in 336 A.D.”
By the chapter seven she writes about monasticism and the way Christianity was misdirected.
“While Constantine the Great lived, there was no fear of degeneration in the Roman Empire, but his successors were not all imbued with his altruism, they had not embraced the Christianity faith from purely disinterested motives; neither had they the living, vital knowledge of its truth which is born of conviction of personal experience. The Edict of Toleration, which Constantine had enforced with scrupulous severity was no longer respected to the same degree, and it became custom to punish the heathens who failed to adopt the Christian faith. The result was that large numbers became Christians through fear. Here again the saving power of pure conviction was lacking, of which the unavoidable result was an in pouring of highly undesirable influences; and the converted heathens introduced into the Church their inborn love of worldly pomp and hollow ceremony. Their influence of age-long tyranny, oppression, superstition, and perverted morality soon made itself felt in the rising Church of the State.”