St. Miltiades served as pope from July 2, 311 to January 10, 314. Shortly after he became pope, the Church’s persecution under the Roman emperors ended with an edict of toleration and ascension of a new Christian emperor, Constantine I. Properties that had been taken from the Church were returned, and Constantine gave Pope Miltiades the Lateran Palace as his residence.
Constantine I’s influence upon the Church was far-reaching. Not only did he decree that Christianity was the primary religion of his Holy Roman Empire, he also influenced the Church’s view on the military and war.
The early Church opposed military service. Few Christians served in the Roman army. But Constantine’s conversion to Christianity aligned the early Church with the Roman Empire. Soon military service was more favorably viewed by the Church.
Some scholars believe that Miltiades was one of three African men who have served as pope. The other two are Pope St. Victor I and Pope St. Gelasius.
- Little Blue Book, January 10