The Helmet of Constantine, once worn by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, is now lost to history.

According to early Christian historians like Saint Ambrose, the helmet contained sacred relics gathered by Constantine’s mother, Empress Helena. This included a Holy Nail from the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified, piously believed to offer divine protection.

The helmet’s design incorporated both iron and gold, with the relic of the Holy Nail integrated. This was believed to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah, where it was foretold that one would come with “Holiness to the Lord” engraved on their headpiece.

Eusebius, the first historian of Christianity, said that Constantine frequently wore such a helmet, which became known as the “Holy Helmet.”

Constantine often wore the Holy Helmet in battle, particularly during the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD. His victories wearing it reinforced his soldiers’ morale and was believed to be powerful symbolism showing Constantine’s divine favor.

Constantine’s conversion was often symbolized through this imperial attire. One silver medallion from 315 AD shows Constantine wearing a helmet adorned with the chi-rho symbol, representing Christ.

These coins would end up serving as powerful evangelizing tools in promoting the Catholic faith across the Roman empire!

Photo credit: Dietrich.Klose via Wikimedia Commons | Dosseman via Wikimedia Commons
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