Icon of Saint Helen – S429

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Description

Saint Helen was the mother of the future Emperor Constantine I, the first Christian Roman Emperor.  She was born in about 250 a.d. in the city of Drepanum on the Gulf of Nicomedia.  She married the Roman Caesar Constantius Chloris I and gave birth to their son Constantine about 272.  Constantius divorced Saint Helen around 289 to marry Theodora, the step-daughter of the Emperor Maximiam.

When her son Constantine was declared Augustus, or Emperor of the Roman Empire in 306, Saint Helen returned to a foremost position of honor.  She was given the means also in 325 to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and find the precious and holy things associated with Christ’s life that had been obscured by previous non-Christian emperors and their administrators.  Saint Helen found the tomb of Christ, the place of His Crucifixion, the True Cross, the Nails that pierced His side, and a part of His tunic.  Churches were built on these holy places and also the site at the foot of Mt. Sinai where the Burning Bush still grew.  Pious and devout, Saint Helen went to live with Christ Whom she loved in 330.

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Additional information

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Heritage

Greek

Church Feast Day 1

21-May

Style

Egg Tempera

Date

20th c. (Late)

Iconographer

Monk Michael of Athos