Meet Constantine the Great: The Emperor Who Changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday

Meet Constantine the Great: The Emperor Who Changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday

Constantine the Great, born in 272 AD in Serbia, rose to prominence as Emperor following the death of his father. Initially a pagan, Constantine’s embrace of Christianity marked a pivotal moment in history, as he played a significant role in reshaping religious practices within the Roman Empire.

Traditionally, Sabbath, observed on Saturday, held significance for the Israelites, ordained in the Ten Commandments as a day of rest and worship. However, Constantine’s influence heralded a shift towards Sunday worship among Christians. This change stemmed from the belief that Sunday held symbolic importance as the day of Jesus Christ’s resurrection and the appearance of the Holy Spirit to his disciples.

Constantine’s conversion to Christianity led to a favorable stance towards the faith, culminating in the end of Christian persecution and the establishment of churches across the empire. Under his reign, Sun worship waned in prominence, replaced by the growing influence of Christianity.

One of Constantine’s notable decrees was the celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday, marking it as a corporate day of worship. This decision departed from strict adherence to Mosaic law, as Constantine argued that all days were holy in the eyes of God. He reasoned that the stringent laws associated with Moses and the Israelites, such as Sabbath observance, were not universal but specific to that era.

Constantine’s journey towards Christianity culminated in his baptism in the River Jordan, a symbolic act undertaken as he neared the end of his life. Despite his conversion, Constantine remained mindful of his pagan roots, as evidenced by his burial within a church compound upon his death.

Constantine’s legacy reverberates through history, as his influence fundamentally altered the religious landscape of the Roman Empire. His decree regarding Sunday worship continues to shape Christian practices to this day, highlighting the enduring impact of his reign on religious tradition.

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