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Monday, August 18, 2014

Saint Helena

Ordinary Time: August 18th

The Vision of St. Helena

St. Helena converted to Christianity late in life. Married Constantius Chlorus, co-regent of the western Roman empire. Mother of Constantine the Great. Her husband put her aside for a second marriage with better political connections. On his death, her son ascended to the throne, brought her home, and treated her as royalty. She used her high position and wealth in the service of her religious enthusiasm and helped build churches throughout the empire.

At the age of 80, she led a group to the Holy Land to search for the True Cross. She and her group unearthed three crosses in 326. At the suggestion of Saint Macarius of Jerusalem, she took them to a woman afflicated with an incurable disease and had her touch each one. One of them immediately cured her, and it was pronounced the True Cross. She built a church on the spot where the cross was found and sent pieces to Rome and Constantinople. Died c.328.

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