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Saint Helen (Helena)  Born 246/248 AD to  330 AD

Helena lived in Rome and married Emperor Constantius. He saw her as his soulmate sent by God. Year later, Helena gave birth to the future Emperor Constantine I. This made her a very important mother. In AD 326–28 Helena undertook an important trip to Palestine. On her orders, the Church of the NativityBethlehem, and the Church of Eleona on the Mount of Olives were constructed.

She had a revelation in a dream. She was told that she should make a bonfire and that the smoke would show her where the true cross of Jesus was buried. So she ordered the people of Jerusalem to bring wood and make a huge pile. After adding frankincense to it, the bonfire was lit and the smoke rose high up to the sky and returned to the ground, exactly to the spot where the Cross had been buried.

On the site of discovery, Constantine ordered the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Helena is also claimed to have found the nails of Jesus’ crucifixion.

Helena left Jerusalem  in 327 AD to return to Rome. She brought large parts of Jesus’ True Cross and other relics with her. They were then stored in her palace's private chapel and can be still seen today.

Her palace was later converted into the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. This has been maintained by Cistercian monks in the monastery which has been attached to the church for centuries.


Helena ranks as an important figure in the history of Christianity and became a Saint after her death. A very special Saint to us at St. Helens!

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