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Saint Helen PDF Print E-mail

Helen was born in Drepanum, Bithinia, in the middle of the third century. She got married to Constantius Clorus, who later divorced her for state reasons in order to be able to succeed to Diocletian as emperor. Out of this wedlock Constantine the Great was born, who after the death of his father, inherited the imperial throne. He called Helena by his side and lavishly granted her the title of "August Empress". She distinguished herself for her deep concern for the suffering, in particular for political prisoners and their families, the poor and the sick. In the year 326, already over 80, she set out as a pilgrim to the Holy Land. It was the dream of her life. There, after praying on the places where Jesus was born, died and was buried, she ordered that excavations be started. On the Golgotha, the cross on which Christ died was found. She had churches built in Bethlehem, on the Mount of The Olives, from where the risen Lord ascended into heaven, and the Anastasis basilica enshrining the grave where the lifeless body of Christ was laid after the crucifixion, and from where he rose up again to life. She died very probably in Constantinople and was buried in Rome around the year 328/30. Her feast day in the Catholic Church is held on August 18, while for the Orthodox it is May 22, together with that of her son Constantine the Great.

   



 
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