It was in Late Antiquity that people began to turn away from the worship of many gods of the classical Greco-Roman and eastern pantheons and drifted towards more philosophical beliefs promoting one divine power. Sects that sent a message of personal salvation and rebirth were becoming more widespread.
It was Emperor Constantine the Great (324-337) and his conversion to Christianity that saw the change and assimilation. Although he was careful not to offend Italy’s powerful senotorial elite. Remaining associated with the old state religion and worshipping of the sun god (Sol Invictus) who’s birthday is 25th December and introducing the ‘venerable day of the sun’ ( Sunday) as a compulsory day of rest. It is this assimilation that we still live with today.
Emperor Constantine the Great remained katechumen ( a Christian in preparation) until being baptised on his deathbed in 337.
Baptism-one of the sacraments of the Christian church- was the washing away of the new Christian’s sins but every sin committed after baptism could only be atoned for by harsh penance. As a result many katechumen waited until near death before being baptised.
It wasn’t until the early Middle Ages that this train of thought was reversed and baptism was practiced shortly after birth so that evil spirits could not encompass them.
If Emperor Constantine had introduced two days of rest we may well have had an eight day week !!!
Stay Posted. Love L