Helena of Constantinople
Feast Day: August 18
Helena had two wishes. She wanted to be a good mother. And she was. She wanted to find the cross on which Jesus had been crucified. And she did.
Helena lived long ago, from the middle of the third century to the early 300s. Her son Constantine became the ruler of the Roman Empire. After that, Helena traveled around the empire doing good.
Helena became a Christian when she was 63 years old. Then she went to Palestine to see where Jesus had walked and talked and died. While in Palestine, Helena had workers dig in the ground. They found a cross. Helena believed that Jesus had died on that cross, and she brought large parts of it back to Rome with her. On that site in Jerusalem was built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Helena also ordered a church built at the Mount of Olives. Jesus had prayed there on the night before he died. And she built a church in Bethlehem, at the site where Jesus was born.
Helena helped the people of God by building churches, but she was also kind to soldiers, prisoners, and the poor. Her kindness showed them how Jesus took care of others. Her life showed everyone God’s goodness. She is also known as St. Helen and Helena of Constantinople.
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