Saint Helen

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Flavia Iulia Helena, also known as Saint Helena, Saint Helen, Helena Augusta, and Helena of Constantinople, (AD c.248 - c.329) was the first wife of Constantius Chlorus, and the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great. She is traditionally credited with finding the relics of the True Cross.

Many legends surround her. She was allegedly the daughter of an innkeeper. Her son Constantine renamed the city of Drepanum on the Gulf of Nicomedia as 'Helenopolis' in her honor, which led to later interpretions that Drepanum was her birthplace.

Constantius Chlorus divorced her (c.292) to marry the step-daughter of Maximian, Flavia Maximiana Theodora. Helena's son, Constantine, became emperor of the Roman Empire, and following his elevation she became a presence at the imperial court, and received the title Augusta.

She is considered by the Orthodox and Catholic churches as a saint, famed for her piety. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces. She is traditionally credited (but not by Eusebius) with the finding of relics of the True Cross and finding the remains of the Three Wise Men, which currently reside in the Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on May 21, the Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles. [1] Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church falls on August 18.


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