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The Chi Rho Vision... in the clouds?


With His Head in the Clouds  
 I commend this article...with a reprint from a book by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the Cloudspotter's Guide. He maintains the xP in the sky that Constantine saw was a naturally occurring phenomena. He could be right: Constantine may have seen the cross in the sky due to atmospheric conditions.  
If so, does that make the legend of the Labarum all a farce? Well, not in my book. I believe God manifests himself using nature in ways that suit him, and I believe also of the vision that night, the voice, and the writing in the sky.  What this article does present, that refutes many naysayers, is that the sign could have indeed been seen by his entire Army that day as Eusebius says Constantine swore to him. A quote from the article...

A rare coin—the 'Spes public'— struck in Constantinople in AD327, shows a particularly clear depiction of the military standard that became the established one for the Roman army, following the vision accorded to Constantine and his troops fifteen years before. It shows the labarum above a banner with three circles on it.

When the sun happens to be at an elevation of 22° from the horizon, the smile of the circumzenithal arc can appear to touch the 46° halo. Were the cloud cover broken, so that just a part of the halo appeared below the arc, the effect is not a million miles away from the cross in Constantine's labarum. And the vertical line of the 'P', incorporated into the symbol? It is a sun pillar appearing below the sun, of course. Three coins on the vellum below the symbol? Well, it goes without saying that they represent the sun with sundogs, or mock suns, on either side of it.

 Comment: Eusebius said the royal cloth had the medallions of Constantine and his sons, but perhaps it came to him to so display them from a vision of "suns" as described above
You can read Eusebius and others at these links.

Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius [315], Eusebius of Pamphili, Bishop of Caesera [330] and Salminius Hermias Sozomen [443]

And let us remember that Constantine, moving on this vision, soundly defeated a force much larger than his own. His opponent made a critical tactical blunder on the advice of pagan priests in coming out of the fortifications of Rome, crossing the Tiber with it at his back and with no room to maneuver or to withdraw. Nor must ever forget the civil results: an end to persecution of Christians... the restoration of Christian property, and freedom of  Christian worship wherever Constantine ruled, the council that consolidated the catholic-ortodox faith and discredited the heretics. 


"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


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