Saturday Saints- #9

This Saturday’s saint is one of the first that I have included in this series, Saint Helena:

Saint Helena or Saint Helen (Latin: Flavia Iulia Helena Augusta; c. 250 – c. 330) was the consort of the Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus and the mother of the emperor Constantine the Great, an important figure in the history of Christianity. She is traditionally credited with a pilgrimage to Syria Palaestina, during which she discovered the True Cross of Jesus’s crucifixion. She is revered as a saint by the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, the Lutheran, and the Anglican churches.

(Wiki article here)

I found her interesting for several reasons. To begin with, she was the mother of Constantine, who had a significant impact on Christianity’s early development. Also fascinating was that she was heavily involved in searching for early relics of Christian history and tradition. During her trip to the Holy Land she also helped found several churches, including the Church of the Nativity. So all in all, she exerted a great deal of influence in her lifetime (which was pretty long for that time).

Saint Helen of Constantinople


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7 responses to “Saturday Saints- #9

  1. Agapoula

    Lovely post. 🙂

    Is this the same St Helena who brought our lovely cats to Cyprus? You did not mention that? 🙂

  2. Yes, as a matter of fact, it is the same St. Helena who introduced all those cats to Cyprus. From what I recall, to kill the many snakes who were there.

  3. Yes, as a matter of fact, she is the same St. Helena who introduced all those cats to Cyprus. As a I recall, it was in order to kill all the snakes.

  4. Agapoula

    Yes it was. Here is how it went.

    “The Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats is regarded as a sacred cat haven in Cyprus, as it’s name has been linked to felines for almost 2,000 years.

    The original monastery was built in 327 AD, by Kalokeros, the first Byzantine governor of Cyprus, and patronised by Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. At that time, a terrible drought affected the whole of Cypus, and the entire island was overrun with poisonous snakes which made building the monastery a dangerous affair. Many of the inhabitants left their homes and moved off the island, for fear of the snakes, but Saint Helena came up with a solution to the plague – she ordered 1,000 cats to be shipped in from Egypt and Palestine to fight the reptiles.”

  5. Agapoula

    And now, some people put poison for cats here as they are regarded as a “pest”, however many farmers like them and feed them as they are well known to kill snakes which damage crops and also pose danger.

    I have not come across one snake in my garden, thank God, and thanks to my multitude of cats. 😀

  6. mdavid

    I first heard of Helena as the woman who connected with the Jewish Christians who kept the tablet that was nailed to the cross that said “King of the Jews” (in Hebrew/Latin/Greek) and brought it to Rome. Sort of the original Indiana Jones…

    What is interesting about that tablet is the wording runs right to left for all three languages (odd, probably written by a Jew) and not enough of the Hebrew part is intact to tell if the language is Hebrew or Aramaic. The people of the time typically called Aramaic words Hebrew (you can see this in the bible quite a bit), and I was always curious which one it was so I was looking at the tablet hoping to get a clue but of course it wasn’t clear even then. I always figured if it was Hebrew it was for the priests, and if Aramaic for the common man.

  7. Pingback: Saturday Saints- Registry | Donal Graeme

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