Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Saint Helen

Helen was a British princess and became a Christian late in life. Her faith and piety had a good influence on her son Constantine, the first Christian Emperor. She used her wealth for charity and in building churches. When the Emperor planned to build a church on Mount Calvary, Helen, at the age of eighty, began a journey to Jerusalem, hoping to find the Holy Cross.

Three crosses were found on Mount Calvary, together with the nails and the inscriptions. The three crosses were brought before a woman who was afflicted with an incurable disease. When the third cross touched her, she was perfectly cured.

With great joy the pious Empress went about building a glorious church on Mount Calvary in which she placed the precious relic of the true Cross. She sent pieces of it to Rome and Constantinople. She also had a church built on Mount Olivet.

In the year 312, Constantine obtained a great victory through the power of the Cross. Shortly after, Helen returned to Rome where she died in the year 328. Her feast day is celebrated on August 18th.

Lord Jesus Christ, You revealed Your Cross to St. Helen because You wanted to give us a great treasure. Grant, through her prayers, that the ransom paid on that life giving wood may win us the rewards of everlasting life. Amen.

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